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Mixed reactions over Showmax's removal of Leon Schuster films

Leon Schuster as Mama Jack
Leon Schuster as Mama Jack

The removal of Leon Schuster films from streaming platform Showmax has caused a divide among social media users.

The streaming service removed all signs of perceived racist content on its platform, after the Black Lives Matter ripple effect around the world.  

This after other streaming services, such as Netflix, announced that they were carefully curating a “list of titles that only begin to tell the complex and layered stories about racial injustice and Blackness in America”.

Netflix also said it would remove or make adjustments to shows and movies that featured racist stereotypes.

According to a News24 report, head of communication for Showmax, Richard Boorman, said Leon's films were removed due to being possibly racially insensitive.

The removed films included You Must Be Joking, You Must Be Joking Too, Oh Schucks ... It’s Schuster, Sweet ‘n Short, Schuks! Pay Back the Money, and Frank and Fearless.

Currently, the streaming service has no films under Leon's name. Speaking to Netwerk24, the filmmaker said he was “shocked” and does not believe that the content of his films does any harm.

However, according to a 2018 Sunday Times interview, Leon was “unapologetic about playing on every racial stereotype in his films”. 

He told the publication that he only had some regrets about profiting from blackface because he was called out.

“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.”

On Twitter, some users defended Leon, saying his movies were part of their childhood.

Others sided with Showmax's decision.

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