Joseph Fiennes’ portrayal of Michael Jackson in the TV series “Urban Myths” was not received well and the actor faced backlash for the controversial performance.
Although the episode was eventually cancelled, Fiennes is defending the role now in a new interview with Vulture
. He says he was fine with people not supporting the choice. “It’s good that people stand up for what they believe, and I’m all for that,” the actor says.
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He defends taking on the role because it was a satirical portrayal. “I’m all for that discussion, and it means a lot to me and my fellow actors to talk about casting, getting it right, getting it wrong, and then if there’s a mistake, to examine that mistake and talk about it. Maybe the controversy is good if it brings about discussion. But it is satire. It’s a 20-minute sketch, and it’s lighthearted,” Fiennes adds.
Fiennes compares the part it to Amy Poehler’s impression of the music icon on “Saturday Night Live”. “It’s funny, because not so long ago, there was an ‘SNL’ sketch where an actress played Michael Jackson and no one batted an eyelid,” he says. “It’s no less offensive than anything on ‘SNL’. That’s the level of offense.”
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He says he doesn’t regret his decision and would love for people to see it and the discussion that would unfold. If it had been an offensive portrayal of Jackson, he wouldn’t have done it and would have been embarrassed, but he argues it wasn’t.
“In life, you can’t avoid getting into hot water. It’s all lessons and learning. As an actor, you take on roles, and nobody has seen it, so nobody can even have the full comment because they haven’t witnessed it,” he continues.