After a review, Showmax, the South African streaming service, has decided to remove Leon Schuster movies from their programming in fear that they could be considered racially insensitive.
White South African filmmaker, comedian, actor, presenter and singer Leon Schuster is well-known for using makeup and masks to disguise himself as non-white people in his movies. It seems the use of blackface is the main influence on Showmax’s decision to remove his content.
Following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, many streaming platforms have decided to shelf content that could be deemed insensitive. Just recently, HBO announced that they would be removing Gone With The Wind due to the film’s depiction of black people.
Leon Schuster, however, has long been considered a South African hero, with many believing that his films played a big part in bringing people together during apartheid. The argument is that Schucks and his characters showcased many of the country’s different personalities and cultures.
You could even make the argument that Schuster made fun of all races and racial stereotypes, including white people.
He also included many black actors as co-stars over the years, even during apartheid.
In recent years, however, the prankster himself admitted that blackface was wrong and that he would no longer do it in future films.
“I’m so sorry that I can’t make Mama Jack 2. If I had a dream come true, my next movie would be Mama Jack 2. But especially on Twitter they said stay away from the blackface, it’s not on. It was black people talking to me and you’ve got to listen. I can’t do it because I’ll be heavily criticised. In the olden days it troubled nobody. But I won’t go blackface now, I can’t do it. There’s not one actor in the world that will. It’s just racist.”
In an interview with Netwerk24, Leon Schuster expressed his shock about Showmax’s decision. “I cannot believe that the content of my movies causes any harm. It is completely innocent,” he said.
Of course, Twitter had their say too.
Leon Schuster showed us how racist White South Africans really are. Now Showmax is calling his content racist. How do you become racist when you exposing racism??? pic.twitter.com/I3fSLef95A
— You_Don't_Milk_A_Dog (@Nomagadlela) June 19, 2020
Am I the only one not offended by Leon Schuster movies?? pic.twitter.com/MEGqKtXJXp
— Siviwe (@me_siviwe) June 19, 2020
Hit a like If you agree he made your Childhood days.
Leon Schuster pic.twitter.com/1Rng7XMOpt
— African Child?? (@MntakaSkhumba) June 19, 2020
How can he have such content and then be racist? Yall remember the story of Dinky and Lionel? Hands off Leon Schuster please. ? pic.twitter.com/dmFhqgHkAw
— Nonkululeko Khumalo (@nonkululeko01) June 19, 2020