As the #BlackLivesMatter campaign continues to bring change to the entertainment space, Leon Schuster has felt the brunt as nine of his films, including ‘Mama Jack’, ‘There’s a Zulu On My Stoep’ and ‘Mr Bones’ have been removed from local streaming service Showmax due to the film’s use of black face to which many South Africans feel is racially insensitive.
Now, the actor has spoken out saying he was “disappointed” that his films were removed from Showmax. “I’m obviously very disappointed and I don’t see the reason behind it. I’m trying to find the reason and I’m battling,” Schuster said. “I try to bring people together with laughter. There is no race in my heart. I don’t see black, white, pink or purple – I just see a person.
He adds “If they are in my region when I do candid camera I go for whoever it is… I don’t have preference to one race. There has never been racism in any of the stuff that I’ve done. My heart is that of a living and loving South African.”
When asked if he will continue to make use of blackface in future films, the actor admits that he is undecided. “I will finally decide once I find out if it upset them [his fans]. I have never heard from any black, coloured or Indian man who said ‘you are discriminating against me’ by putting on a blackface.
He continues “If I find out that people are being discriminated against or I’m racist by wearing black makeup, if I get that feeling, I will definitely not do it again. At the moment I don’t have that feeling but can’t say I will do blackface again because there is too much uproar at the moment and I don’t like to be controversial like that.”