Michael Jackson Once Told Oprah Winfrey He Didn't Want a White Actor to Portray Him on Screen

by Antoinette Bueno 9:05 AM PST, January 28, 2016
Playing Michael Jackson Once Told Oprah Winfrey He Didn't Want a White Actor to Portray Him on Screen

Joseph Fiennes' controversial casting as Michael Jackson in the upcoming British TV movie, Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, may have upset the late King of Pop himself -- if we're judging by Jackson's comments to Oprah Winfrey in 1993.

In the resurfaced interview from Feb. 10, 1993, Jackson talked about rumors that he wanted a "little white boy" to play him in a Pepsi commercial.

"That is so stupid," Jackson adamantly said. "That's the most ridiculous, horrifying story I've ever heard. It's crazy."

WATCH: EXCLUSIVE -- Joseph Fiennes 'as Shocked as You' to Portray Michael Jackson in New Film

"Number one, it's my face as a child in the commercial," he continued. "Me, when I was little. 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. ... That's like you [Oprah] wanting an oriental person to play you as a child. Does that make sense?"

Watch the video below at the 23:45 mark.

Michael Jackson Talks To Oprah from Pan African Markets™ on Vimeo.

ET caught up with Fiennes this past Saturday when he was promoting the historical drama Risen, when he admitted that he was just as shocked as some fans at his casting. Airing on Sky Arts, Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon is based on an urban legend from a May 2011 Vanity Fair article, which reported that Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackson rented a car and took a road trip together after they were unable to catch a flight out of New York City following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I'm a white, middle-class guy from London," Fiennes exclusively told ET of playing the late music icon. "I'm as shocked as you may be."

Still, he defended the surprising choice.

"[Jackson] definitely had an issue -- a pigmentation issue -- and that's something I do believe," the Shakespeare in Love star said. "He was probably closer to my color than his original color."

"It's a light comedy look," Fiennes, 45, added. "It's not in any way malicious. It's actually endearing."

Not surprisingly, the Jackson family isn't happy about the new film. "It's offensive to me and my family for my uncle Michael to be portrayed in a comedy taking place around 9/11," TJ Jackson told ET in a statement on Wednesday. "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."

WATCH: Jackson Family Blasts Michael Jackson-Inspired Comedy Starring Joseph Fiennes as the King of Pop -- 'It's Offensive'

Watch ET's interview with Fiennes below: