While British actor Joseph Fiennes insists he wasn’t surprised he was cast to play Michael Jackson in new TV movie, fans seem to be flabbergasted.

Fiennes stated, “He [Michael Jackson} was probably closer to my color than his original color.”

Fiennes is best known for his role as the Bard in Shakespeare In Love. He will take the lead role in this new film which centers on an alleged road trip taken by Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brandon. Apparently, the trio were attempting to flee New York after the September 11 attacks.

After the three Hollywood legends were prevented from leaving New York they decided to set off back home to California by car.

Apparently, Jackson had invited Taylor and Brando to be in the audience of his concert at Madison Square Gardens the night before.

However, the story cannot be proved as a close friend of Taylor’s claims she stayed behind at Ground Zero to pray and comfort people after the terrorist attack.

The decision to cast Fiennes in the role has enraged fans who are venting their anger on social media.

It has particular raised the issue about the lack of opportunities for non-white actors in movies and TV in Hollywood.

It is quoted that Jackson told Oprah Winfrey in 1993 he didn’t want a white child portraying him in a Pepsi commercial.

Michael Jackson told Oprah, “That's so stupid. That's the most ridiculous, horrifying story I've ever heard... It's crazy. I mean... why? … Why would I want a white child to play me? I'm a black American.

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I'm proud to be a black American. I'm proud of my race. I'm proud of who I am…”

Followers on Twitter didn’t hesitate in expressing their feelings on the matter, mirroring Jackson’s thoughts all those years earlier.

One Twitter user tweeted: “Aaaaaand hot on the heels #OscarsSoWhite Joseph Fiennes being tapped to play Michael Jackson in film. You can't make this s*** up …”

Another joined in: “Fiennes would be playing a *post-9/11* Michael Jackson, i.e. white-looking M.J. Casting a black guy in whiteface'd bring its own problems.”

While a third said: “Charlie Hunman is playing a Mexican (La Barbie) & Joseph Fiennes is playing a Black guy (Michael Jackson) and Hollywood doesn't see the problem.”