'Legal Threats' From Winnie Mandela on J-Hud

'Legal Threats' From Winnie Mandela on J-Hud

Race, ethnicity and nationality can be major issues in films.

Published May 18, 2010

jhud Race, ethnicity and nationality can be major issues in films. When Jennifer Lopez was selected to play Selena in the 1997 biopic, some Mexican-American activists protested that the actress should be Mexican; Lopez is Puerto Rican.  However, once the film was released, Lopez's performance was praised.

Argentinians protested when Madonna landed the role of Eva Perón in the film version of Evita . Some felt that a woman of Spanish background should play Eva and others were mortified considering Madonna's racy past. Madonna won a Golden Globe for her performance.

Many in the African-American community were frustrated that Angelina Jolie played Mariane Pearl , the wife of slain journalist Daniel Pearl , in A Mighty Heart . Jolie was "darkened up" to play Pearl who is of Dutch-Jewish and Afro-Chinese-Cuban descent. Nonetheless, Jolie was specifically chosen by Pearl and the performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Now, according to the New York Post , lawyers for Winnie Mandela, the former wife of President Nelson Mandela, slammed the producers of her biopic for not selecting an actress from South Africa . Furthermore, Winnie Mandela wants approval of the script.  If her demand is not granted, she will allegedly file a lawsuit to stop filming. The film is set to start production at the end of May in South Africa.

The producer, André Pieterse , said he has no plans to give Winnie Mandela script approval and stressed the story was thoroughly researched.

I'm sure it's tough for a director to grant script approval -- but can you imagine a film about your life, you're still alive and well, and you're told, "Butt out!"

On the issue of a South African actress playing Winnie Mandela, I think it's a valid point, but the film, which has a $15 million budget, is concerned about the cash. They want a bankable actress -- perceived cultural morality is thrown out of the Hollywood window.

I am sure Jennifer Hudson will do an amazing job.  Do you think a South African actress should be selected for the role of Winnie Mandela?

On another note, Terrence Howard will be playing Nelson Mandela ...


Written by Clay Cane


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