Fans of David Bowie have reacted with fury after a TV movie of the musician’s life during the height of his powers cast Denzel Washington in the lead role.
The Boy from Mars will document Bowie’s life from the release of Space Oddity in 1969, through to the premiere of the video for Dancing in the Street with Mick Jagger in 1985.
Bowie aficionados have criticised the film’s makers – Sky Arts – for black-washing history by hiring a black actor to play a famous white man.
Bowie fan-club member Simon Williams told us, “It’s outrageous! I like Denzel, I thought he was amazing in Training day and Remember the Titans, but he’s NOT David Bowie.
“The make-up just looks so fake. I mean, I know Bowie painted his face a lot, but it just doesn’t look right on Denzel.
“I can’t help thinking it all feels a bit, you know, racist.”
A spokesperson for Sky Arts said the casting was something they had thought long and hard about once the script had been finalised.
They explained, “It was a close call, but ultimately we went for Denzel because our casting director really fancies him.
“If this makes you cross, you’re probably going to lose your shit when you see Mick Jagger being played by Beyonce.”