The impact of the Black Lives Matter movement is rippling around the globe encouraging important conversations about racism that was previously swept under the rug.
These conversations, though merely the start of identifying, unpacking, and addressing both blatant and systematic racism, are also starting to take place in the entertainment industry.
Last week shows like Little Britain and The Mighty Boosh were removed from streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix for using blackface – a move that many say has been long overdue.
According to Digital Spy “blackface stretches back centuries and its implications are deeply rooted in oppression.
“The use of blackface was particularly prominent in the 1800s as a reaction to anti-slavery campaigns and as a means of mocking Black people. It played into attitudes and ideologies that underpinned transatlantic slavery and segregation.”
Local streaming service Showmax recently also started to review content on its platform that could be considered to be racially insensitive. These include a large chunk of films by South African filmmaker Leon Schuster.
Netwerk24 reported that six films of the 69-year-old comedian were removed from Showmax and is currently being reviewed. Those include You Must Be Joking, You Must Be Joking Too, Oh Schucks…It’s Schuster, Sweet ‘n Short, Schuck! Pay Back the Money, and Frank and Fearless.
According to Netwerk24 other films by Schuster including Mama Jack, in which Schuster used blackface, and Mr. Bones and its sequel, in which he plays a white sangoma, have also been removed from Showmax.