Joseph Fiennes Michael Jackson

Joseph Fiennes' Michael Jackson Look Revealed in Trailer for UK's Urban Myths

Controversy erupted last year when it was announced that white actor Joseph Fiennes would be playing Michael Jackson in a TV production for the UK’s Sky Arts. Now, almost a full year later, we have a visual aid to accompany that outrage.

The trailer for Urban Myths hit YouTube on Tuesday, giving us our first look at Fiennes in the role of Jackson (circa 2001), opposite Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando. A 2011 Vanity Fair article alleged that Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando road-tripped to Ohio shortly after the 9/11 attacks, an event now being recreated as part of Urban Myths:

The trailer also reveals several other famous faces slipping into historical roles, including Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) as Adolf Hitler and Rupert Grint (the Harry Potter films) as “Hitler’s friend” — though something tells us Fiennes’ haunting performance as Jackson will garner the most attention.

Discussing the controversy with Entertainment Tonight in 2016, Fiennes said, “[Jackson] definitely had an issue, a pigmentation issue, and that’s something I do believe. He was probably closer to my color than his original color.” Fiennes also insisted that his portrayal is “not in any way malicious. It’s actually endearing.”

Hit PLAY on the Urban Myths trailer above, then drop a comment with your thoughts below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. John036 says:

    to quote chanel oberlin: ‘what fresh (idk if h-e-double-hockey-sticks is okay) is this’

  2. Drb999 says:

    What?!? That looks awful. It’s effing hellacious.

  3. auntiemm says:

    He looks like Gerard Depardieu.

  4. DL says:

    Nothing about this sounds good.

  5. Brian says:

    This looks horrid.

  6. chellemabelle says:

    What the frak is this?
    And how the fork do we erase this from memory?

  7. Steven says:

    Stockard Channing?! WHY?!?

  8. Suz says:

    This looks like such a train wreck! I hope they show it in the US.

  9. Bella says:

    He kinda looks like Odo from Deep Space Nine. But with way more hair, obviously.

  10. Alichat says:

    What in the world is that?!?!

  11. herman1959 says:


  12. liame says:

    Oh……My……Gawd! I know what Halloween costume will be hit this year. LOL while SMDH!

  13. Rachel says:

    Its so hard to look away……..

  14. Raul J says:

    If only they could have gotten Amy Poehler.

  15. ? says:

    Oh, Hell no………

  16. ScottJ says:

    I think you need to understand the overall concept of the series before looking at this completely out of context. Trouble is British humor doesn’t always translate very well.

  17. AngelWasHere says:


  18. Jimmy says:


  19. Bwine says:

    Y’all are too funny! I saw the picture and came here strictly to read the comments, and you all have not disappointed!

  20. Julia says:

    this looks so disrespectful

  21. Jake says:

    That might be pretty damn funny, or pretty lame, not enough content to judge. Though, it can’t be much worse then any of the current crop of “comedy” shows currently playing on US TV….

  22. R.O.B. says:

    Fiennes is already being accused of doing blackface but ironically he had to make himself look whiter to portray Michael Jackson

  23. Brigid says:

    Hahaha that’s great!

  24. MIke says:

    Well now we know where in the world Matt Lauer is.

    Or am I the only one to see that?