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S.AFRICAN ACTORS AGAINST HUDSON AS WINNIE: Union group says Mandela’s ex-wife should be played by a native actress.

December 8, 2009

     *A union group in South Africa is protesting the casting of Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson as Winnie Mandela in an upcoming biography about the ex-wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela.


      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, according to the AFP.


      “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.”


      J-Hud landed the role of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela last month. As previously reported, the film will be directed by South African film-maker Darrell J. Roodt, whose films include “Cry, The Beloved Country” and “Sarafina.”


      The criticism comes just days before the opening of the Clint Eastwood film “Invictus,” which stars American Oscar winner Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in the story of South Africa’s 1995 rugby World Cup victory which united the nation. Matt Damon plays the rugby team captain.