The announcement that Joseph Fiennes would portray Michael Jackson in the TV special "Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon" sparked plenty of of controversy, but white actors have been portraying people of color for decades in Hollywood. Click through to see examples when Hollywood got it wrong.
Mickey Rooney donned buck teeth and squinted his eyes to play Mr. Yunioshi in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in 1961. Rooney told the Sacramento Bee in 2008 that if he had known his portrayal would upset people, he "wouldn't have done it."
"West Side Story"
Race played a heavy role in the film 1961's "West Side Story," which was about a forbidden love between a white man and a Puerto Rican woman. But the Puerto Rican woman in question, Maria, was played by white actress Natalie Wood.
Credit: United Artists
"Short Circuit 2"
The 1988 movie "Short Circuit 2" is not a particularly well-known film, but anyone who is a fan of Aziz Ansari's has heard plenty about it. Ansari brings up the movie in his stand-up comedy and also on his show, "Master of None," pointing out that the main character, who is Indian, was played by a white actor named Fisher Stevens.
Credit: TriStar Pictures
"House of Spirits"
The 1994 film "House of Spirits" boasted an impressive cast that included Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Winona Ryder and Jeremy Irons. The problem? They were all portraying Chilean characters.
"Memoirs of a Geisha"
"Memoirs of a Geisha" sparked controversy when it was released in 2005 for casting Chinese actors like Zhang Ziyi, Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh, as Japanese characters in a film set in in Japan.
Credit: Columbia Pictures
"A Mighty Heart"
Angelina Jolie portrayed real-life French journalist Mariane Pearl, who is black, in 2007's "A Mighty Heart," sparking complaints about the casting.
Gambling movie "21" was based on the true story of Jeff Ma, a member of the MIT Blackjack Team, but the character's name was changed to Ben Campbell, played by white actor Jim Sturgess. Other Asian members of Ma's team were also portrayed by white actors in the 2008 film.
"The Lone Ranger"
Johnny Depp played Native-American character Tonto in 2013 film "The Lone Ranger."
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures
The 2015 movie "Aloha" received plenty of backlash when it was revealed that Emma Stone was playing the part-Asian character Allison Ng. Director Cameron Crowe responded and said that the real-life Ng, who is one quarter Hawaiian and half Chinese also had red hair.
"I offer you a heart-felt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice," he wrote. "As far back as 2007, Captain Allison Ng was written to be a super-proud quarter Hawaiian who was frustrated that, by all outward appearances, she looked nothing like one."
Asian-American activists cried foul when the cast of 2015's "The Martian" was announced.
Character Mindy Park, who is Korean-American in the book version of "The Martian," was played by white actress Mackenzie Davis in the film, and book character Dr. Venkat Kapoor's name was changed to Vincent Kapoor, and played by Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Credit: 20th Century Fox
"Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon"
Joseph Fiennes will play Michael Jackson in an upcoming Sky Arts TV comedy called "Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon."
Scarlett Johansson stars in "Ghost in the Shell," a live-action remake of the Japanese anime classic, a casting choice that has drawn criticism.
When the first trailer for "The Great Wall" prominently featured star Matt Damon fighting to defend the Chinese landmark, criticism was fierce, most notably from "Fresh Off the Boat" star Constance Wu.