South African actors want to stop Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson from playing Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in a new film on the ex-wife of the nation’s first black president, reports said Monday.
The Creative Workers Union of South Africa said using foreign actors to tell the country’s stories undermined efforts to develop the national film industry.
“It can’t happen that we want to develop our own Hollywood and yet bring in imports,” the union’s president Mabutho Sithole said in The Citizen newspaper.
“This decision must be reversed, it must be stopped now,” union secretary general Oupa Lebogo said in The Times. “If the matter doesn’t come up for discussion, we will push for a moratorium to be placed on the film.”
Hudson, who scooped a best supporting actress Oscar in 2007 for the musical “Dreamgirls“, landed the role of Madikizela-Mandela last month.
The film will be directed by South African film-maker Darrell J. Roodt, whose films include “Cry, The Beloved Country” and “Sarafina.”
Madikizela-Mandela campaigned tirelessly for her husband’s release during his 27-year imprisonment in the apartheid era.
However, her image was tarnished by a series of scandals including her links to the kidnap and murder of a young activist and a 2003 conviction for fraud.
She separated from Nelson Mandela in 1992, two years after his release.