Michael Jackson, Joseph Fiennes

PETER MACDIARMID/REX Shutterstock/Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

It don't matter if you're black or white...or does it?

Joseph Fiennes, a British actor best known for his leading role in Shakespeare in Love, has been cast as Michael Jackson in a new half-hour TV comedy about an unconfirmed road trip the singer reportedly took with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brandofollowing the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A rep for production company Sky Arts confirmed the news to E! News Wednesday, adding the project is titled Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon. Past reports had said the program was a drama.

Many people are freaking out about Fiennes' casting because, well, guess.

"A White Actor will play MJ. Because we aren't whitewashed enough in Hollywood, apparently," read a tweet posted on BET's Twitter page Wednesday.

The black superstar, known as the King of Pop, died in 2009 at age 50 from an accidental overdose of the anesthetic propofol and other medications while under the care of a private physician. Jackson suffered from the skin condition vitiligo and starting in the late '80s, he began to look paler and paler. Investigators found 30 tubes of skin whitening cream at his home after his death.

The casting news comes amid recent criticism aimed at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over the lack of diversity among the nominees of this year's Oscars.

Screenwriter Neil Forsyth tweeted Wednesday the project has been filmed and is set to be released in the U.K. "soon."

The project is based on a 2011 Vanity Fair article titled, "Liz Taylor, Michael Jackson, and Marlon Brando Star in...Escape from New York!" The three late stars never spoke about the reported road trip prior to their deaths. The night before the attacks, Jackson had performed at his 30th anniversary celebration in Madison Square Garden.

"It's a tongue-in-cheek, fun, light look at three wonderful characters that we know," Fiennes told ET Canada. "Some say it's an urban legend and our story basically says that it happened, maybe it happened like this and they're stuck in a car for 500 miles as they drive to Pennsylvania and we get to hear some of the shtick that goes on."

Grease star Stockard Channing will play Taylor, who was a close friend of Jackson, and Scottish actor Brian Cox will portray Brando. Director of Sky Arts Phil Edgar-Jones had said in a Huffington Post blog in December that the three actors would star in the movie, titled Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon.

Jackson's family has not responded to the casting.

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