The Dreamgirls actress is set to portray Winnie Mandela in South African filmmaker Darrell J. Roodt’s new project Winnie, about the famous politician’s longtime spouse.
Hudson was delighted to land the leading role, saying: “I was compelled and moved when I read the script. Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I’m honoured to be the actress asked to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told.”
But Hudson’s appointment has caused uproar among the members of the Creative Workers Union of South Africa, who insist a local actress should have been cast as the title character in a movie so important to the country’s history.
The Union’s secretary general, Oupa Lebogo, even goes as far as threatening to boycott the picture if Hudson’s casting is not reconsidered.
Lebogo says, “This decision must be reversed, it must be stopped now. If the matter doesn’t come up for a discussion, we will push for a moratorium to be placed on the film.”
Protesters also argue Hudson’s inclusion in the film project will hinder the country’s development of its movie industry.
Union president Mabutho Sithole tells The Citizen newspaper, “It can’t happen that we want to develop our own Hollywood and yet bring in imports.”