The removal of Leon Schuster films on Showmax has caused a divide among social media users.
The streaming service(Showmax) removed all signs of identified as racist content on its platform, after the Black Lives Matter ripple effect around the world.
This after other streaming services, such as Netflix, disclosed that they were carefully selecting a “list of titles that only begin to tell the complex and layered stories about racial injustice and Blackness in America”.
Netflix said it would also remove or make adjustments to shows and movies that featured racist stereotypes.
According to reports, Showmax’s head of communication, Richard Boorman, said Leon’s films were removed due to being possibly racially insensitive.
The removed films included Sweet ‘n Short, You Must Be Joking, Frank and Fearless You Must Be Joking Too, Oh Schucks … It’s Schuster, Schuks! Pay Back the Money.
Currently, the Showmax has no films under Leon’s name.
Leon said he was “shocked” and does not believe that the content of his films does any harm.
However, in 2018, Leon was “unapologetic about playing on every racial stereotype in his films”.
He revealed that he only had some regrets about profiting from blackface because he was called out.
Some tweeps defended Leon, saying his movies were part of their childhood.
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
Leon Schuster has never been racist he has always been about the people 🤞🏿. WE LOVE YOU SCHUCKS, SCHUSTER! pic.twitter.com/Zcdgl1UkGS
— SouthAfrica2020🇿🇦 (@SouthAfrica2020) June 19, 2020
Leon Schuster raised us and he must be left alone please pic.twitter.com/6iCvFb8z1q
— Giftious Sebiloane 🎯 (@Iam_Giftious) June 19, 2020
Leon Schuster has done more for peace and reconciliation than anyone who participates in Cancel Culture
— Christoff Smuts (@ChristoffSmuts) June 20, 2020
Would love a debate with executives at @ShowmaxOnline who felt the need to censor Leon Schuster’s work of decades in South Africa.
I suspect he or she knows nothing about the history of this country and why these films were important right at the time they were made @GarethCliff
— Unathi Kwaza (@Unathi_Kwaza) June 20, 2020
Others sided with Showmax.
All of the people saying it’s just humour in the conversation on Leon Schuster, here’s a short thread. Many years ago, I was external examiner of an MA research report on why and how Schuster’s films rely on a series of historic racist tropes.
— Pumla Dineo Gqola, PhD (@feminist_rogue) June 20, 2020
Most South Africans have not been exposed to the history of blackface. In the past, I too saw nothing wrong with Leon Schuster’s comedy but after reading this article, now I’m extremely offended.
— Nathi Phandliwe (@naaathi_p) June 19, 2020
The way Black SAns will, almost on autopilot, defend abelungu, abo Leon Schuster is pathetic.
Even he said it’s racist!!
The portrayal of blackface–when white people darken their skin with enlarged lips and other exaggerated features, is steeped in centuries of racism.
— A Black Woman 🇿🇦 🇿🇦 (@SneKhumaloSA) June 20, 2020
I live in a country where black South African men are excusing Leon Schuster’s continuous use of blackface all because he has black friends🤣🤣🤣
— Indecisive Libran (@IGotgot3) June 22, 2020