January 29, 2016 11:12 am

Michael Jackson in 1993: I don’t want a white actor playing me

Pop icon Michael Jackson told Oprah Winfrey in 1993 that he would be "horrified" if a white actor were ever to portray him on screen.

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A Michael Jackson interview from 1993 has resurfaced, and in it, the legendary musician clearly states he’s proud of his race and would never want a white actor playing him.

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This video emerged after news broke that Joseph Fiennes, the white British actor of Shakespeare in Love, will play the late King of Pop in the 9/11 TV dramedy Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon alongside Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.

In the interview with talk-show maven Oprah Winfrey, Jackson rejects the idea of a white actor playing him. At the time, there were reports Jackson wanted a white person to play him as a child in a Pepsi commercial.

READ MORE: Joseph Fiennes to play Michael Jackson in upcoming TV drama

Jackson is visibly upset by the idea, as you can see in the video, above.

“That is so stupid,” Jackson says. “That’s the most ridiculous, horrifying story I’ve ever heard. It’s crazy.”

“Why would I want a white child to play me? I’m a black American. I’m proud to be a black American. I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am.”

TJ Jackson, Michael Jackson’s nephew and legal guardian of his three children, shared his late uncle’s sentiment, giving the following statement to Entertainment Tonight:

“It’s offensive to me and my family for my uncle Michael to be portrayed in a comedy taking place around 9/11. Like everyone else, he was distraught, saddened and trying to process what had just happened. Following the events of 9/11, my uncle, Michael, stayed with a family friend in New Jersey for a week before flying back. The rest of our family immediately took buses back to Los Angeles as planes were grounded. There was no road trip with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando. I have no comment on the casting of the project.”

READ MORE: Fans mark 6th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Fiennes told Entertainment Tonight that he, too, was surprised by the casting.

“I’m a white, middle-class guy from London,” the actor said. “I’m as shocked as you may be.”

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