AceShowbiz - Michael Jackson's family is upset about drama-comedy "Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon" which is based on a 2001 story about Michael, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando escaping from New York following the terrorist attack. The late musician's nephew, TJ Jackson, calls the movie "offensive."
"It's offensive to me and my family for my uncle Michael to be portrayed in a comedy taking place around 9/11," TJ says in a statement obtained by Entertainment Tonight. "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," says TJ, hinting that the story about the King of Pop's road-trip is inaccurate.
However, TJ doesn't address the issue about her uncle being portrayed by British actor Joseph Fiennes. "I have no comment on the casting of the project," he says.
On the other hand, Joseph admitted that he's surprised when he's tapped to play the late singer. "I'm a white, middle-class guy from London," the 45-year-old actor told the news outlet. "I'm as shocked as you may be." In a separate interview, he said of the British TV movie, "It's a challenge. It's a comedy. It doesn't poke mean fun but it's a story, possibly urban legend, whereby Michael, Marlon Brando, and Liz Taylor were all together the day before 9/11 doing a concert."
Following the announcement about Joseph playing Michael in the movie for Sky Arts, a video of Oprah Winfrey's interview with the "You Are Not Alone" hitmaker back in 1993 resurfaced online. The video apparently tried to criticize the decision to cast Joseph, a white actor, as the late singer. During the interview, Michael set the record straight on rumors saying that he wanted a white boy to play him in an early '90s Pepsi commercial.
"That is so stupid. That's the most ridiculous, horrifying story I've ever heard. It's crazy," Michael said of the rumors. "It's my face as a child in the commercial. Me when I was little. Why would I want a white child to play me? I'm a black American. 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. I have a lot of pride and dignity. That's like you [Oprah] wanting an oriental person to play you as a child. Does that make sense? Please people stop believing these horrifying stories."
Joseph will be joined by Stockard Channing as Elizabeth and Brian Cox as Marlon in "Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon". The one-off special will be directed by Ben Palmer. The script will be written by Neil Forsyth.