Leon Schuster fans got a huge shock when Showmax pulled nine of his movies. Following trends across much of the USA and Europe, racism comes under scrutiny in South Africa. The news about Showmax following the lead of so many other networks pulling sensitive material received a mixed reaction from South Africans of all races. Now, some fans of Leon’s comedy started a petition for his immediate reinstatement.
Leon Schuster pulled for racist content by Showmax
For many South Africans, they believed that Leon’s productions actually mocked racism rather than perpetuated it. News 24 reported that the “69-year-old comedian was removed from Showmax,” mainly for his “Blackface.” For example, he dressed up as “a white sangoma.” Very popular, Schuster sometimes even outdid major box-office hits from Hollywood over the years.
Foreigners might not understand that not only white people enjoyed Leon Schuster’s comedy. On social media, many black South Africans also mourn the loss. Some of them feel Schuster’s no different from Trevor Noah in putting down the black race. They think it highlights the issues of race rather than creating racial hatred. As one black tweeter noted, “No! Not Leon Schuster, C’mon… I was not offended one bit by him. I love Leon.”
But naturally, some do feel offended by Schuster. Now black people squabble among themselves over a white comedian.
We know exactly what we want, we just don't have a problem with Leon Schuster because he never offended us.
— DJ Gabe Fuze (@DJGabeFuze) June 21, 2020
Here’s a tweet that compares Trevor Noah to Leon Schuster, to illustrate how some South Africans feel about it all:
— Sweden (@Mpu2mi) June 21, 2020
Petition started on Change Org
While back and white supporters seem saddened that Leon’s gone from Showmax, not many black people probably head on over and sign the petition to bring him back. Clearly, white people believe more in the power of petitions. Even the petition to lift the smoking ban saw way more white than black signatures. And, black smokers number in the millions as well.
The new petition already garnered some signatures. But notably, so far, all of them look like white South African names. The trouble now, is that even if Showmax wanted to reverse the much-publicized decision, they probably won’t. The news made international headlines. The backlash from American Black Lives Matter would probably bring the house down if they change their minds at this stage. Do you agree? Sound off in the comments below.
Remember to check back with SANs Newsfeed often for more news about Africa.