In Defense Of Joseph Fiennes As Michael Jackson

In Defense Of Joseph Fiennes As Michael Jackson

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Get ready, y'all, cause this is a dry one.

In 1937, fresh off of the success of her first Academy Award, Luise Rainer was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as O-Lan in "The Good Earth," the film adaptation of Pearl S. Buck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. This historic win contained two truths, only one of which was evident on that star-studded night: Luise Rainer was the first actor to win two consecutive Oscars (Spencer Tracy lost this distinction by one short year), and Hollywood deliberately and decisively rewarded cultural appropriation/historic whitewashing.

While Luise Rainer was an undeniably incredible actress, and her role as O-Lan deserved the numerous accolades which it received, in the spirit of fair play and equal opportunity, the role, destined for greatness, should have gone to a Chinese actress. However, we must keep in mind that this was Hollywood in 1937.

A mere two years later, Hattie McDaniel, rightfully awarded the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her derided, praised, resented and beloved role as Mammy in "Gone With the Wind," was forced to enter the Cocoanut Grove through the kitchen, was buttressed against one of the rear walls, an embarrassing distance from costars Vivian Leigh, Clark Gable, and Olivia de Havilland. Yet, despite these slights, as her name was called from the podium, as she made history, she waltzed gracefully, forcefully to the stage, accepting her award, in spite of the obviously demeaning role, with the pride that an actress of her caliber both deserved and necessitated.

Hollywood cares little for racial accuracy, except when it demeans the performer. This awful truth has been proven by producers and reiterated by moviegoers time and time again, yet that great cultural mammon nestled along America's Western shores has vehemently refuted it, offering paltry substitutions, making a multitude of efforts to placate our ever-increasingly socially conscious public. And how they fail.

These are the men who paid Elizabeth Taylor a record-shattering $1 million to portray Cleopatra in the 1963 feature film.

Who cast Mickey Rooney as I.Y. Yunioshi as the horribly stereotypical, bucktoothed Chinese landlord in 1961's "Breakfast at Tiffany's."


Who believed that Charlton Heston, the gun-toting all-American, could become a convincing Moses in their 1956 production of "The Ten Commandments."

Who chose Johnny Depp to bring "Tonto," that antiquated stereotype of a sidekick, to the big screen.

These widespread slights, be they racial, cultural, or ethnological, have steadfastly remained an integral part of Hollywood's illustrious history. And now, here we are in 2016, facing what many believe to be a similar problem.

(White) British actor, Joseph Fiennes, was recently cast as Michael Jackson in a short film regarding a notorious (yet unverified) road trip undertaken after 9/11 by cultural icons Marlon Brando, the aforementioned Liz Taylor, and the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. Many are upset by this choice of casting.

I, however, am in full support of their choice of actor.

By September of 2001, Michael Jackson, suffering from vitiligo, had a lily-white complexion, and while the motion picture industry retains a rich history of miscasting, this choice, though not encouraged, should be accepted.


Idris Elba would have one hell of a hard time in this role.

The ultimate goal of any movie is to transport the viewer, to remove them from reality. To undermine this goal by casting a black man to play 2000s-era Michael Jackson would be unfair to those who have poured their time and efforts into making this film.

While Michael Jackson was invariably and undeniably a black man, his outward appearance was white. This presents a terribly unique situation vastly different from any of the examples mentioned above. In "The Good Earth," "Cleopatra," "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "The Ten Commandments," and "The Lone Ranger", casting racially authentic actors to portray the respective roles would have only heightened the quality (or added a modicum of quality in the case of "The Lone Ranger"), engaging the viewer and fulfilling this shared purpose of films.

To do so in this particular instance would create an insurmountable bridge between the viewer and the movie.

We are correct in demanding a racially diverse and accurate cast in our feature films. Ultimately, however, this one rare instance necessitates that color be valued over racial accuracy to produce a movie of (hopefully) quality and substance.

Let Chinese actors play Chinese characters.

Let Mexican actors play Mexican characters.

Let Joseph Fiennes play Michael Jackson.

Cover Image Credit: https://pmcdeadline2.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/joseph-fiennes.jpeg?w=970

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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Warcraft 3: Reforged - A legend returns

One of the top 100 games of the century makes a comeback in an epic way.

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17 years ago, the legion invaded the realm of Azeroth, forcing the different races of Humans, Orcs, Night elves, and Undead to make the most unlikely of alliances. There were those who fought for the light while the others wished to banish it. Night and day, the furnaces of Lordaeron burnt bright as the loyal dwarves of Khaz Modan hammer away the swords and shields that would aid the fight ahead.

17 years ago, the young orc warchief Thrall foresaw the fate of his people as meteors of green flames crash upon his lands. He saw the upcoming demise of his clanand ordered a mass evacuation towards a new continent where they shall be safe for generations to come. 17 years ago, the night elves felt a corruption within the Tree of Life, causing them to split into opposing factions: one fought in the name of the Goddess, while the other fought in the name of personal hatred. 17 years ago, a legion of undead came upon the shores of Lordaeron, plaguing the land and defiling the life force of the realm. That was the story of Warcraft, one that spanned continents and races only to join them together for a crucial battle of their history.

Warcraft 3: Reforged - Cinematic Trailer Youtube

Warcraft was a monument to an entire gaming generation, ranked 2nd best game of all time by German games magazine "GameStar." Its fate, however, was ultimately sealed as computing technology became better and overshadowed the old giant. Plus, with the rise of gaming consoles and handheld gaming devices, PC gaming lost its appeal slowly, and games like Starcraft or Warcraft eventually faded into oblivion.

But over on the horizon, Blizzard Entertainment came to the rescue. Following the success of their previous release of Starcraft: Remastered, they decided to come forth with their next great project: remastering Warcraft 3.

Using a new and revamped engine built over the foundations of the old one, they have rebuilt the world we once loved. Adding to that are new, high definition voices and sound effects that they recorded just for this old game. For the blurry characters of old, the team decided to upscale and remodel all present units to give them the 2019 high-def treatment they deserved. For the old user interface (UI), the development team settled on one that resembled the "Starcraft: Remastered" interface, offering more room for players to look at the gorgeous 4K character models. Also, to fit the new continuity from World of Warcraft, Blizzard opted to alter the story by a small margin, showing promising changes to the revived game.

Warcraft 3 – Original vs. Reforged Trailer Graphics Comparison Youtube

However, not everyone was hyped when the game was announced. Many gamers expressed disappointment at Blizzard's move of remastering old games instead of developing new ones. Many, feeling uncomfortable at the company's decision, took to the internet and into forums. Some fans expressed concerns over Blizzard's decision to retcon a game they hold dear Some are unhappy with the graphics not being consistent with characters: unit models look too detailed while buildings look cartoonish.

Despite all this, the general population loved the announcement at Blizzcon. As the game slowly reaches its release date of December 31, 2019, the hype can only go up from here. For those of us who can't hold their excitement, here's a video of the crowd's insane reaction to the announcement:


Warcraft 3 Crowd Reaction Youtube

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