South Africa-black/white couples in films,TV

During the apartheid years,what happened to films and TV programmes which had black and white stars acting together?Were they allowed in S.Africa?And what about music where artists of different races performed together?Was it banned from S.African radio?

It was probably banned if it showed them in anyway as equals - Apartheid South Africa had a list of banned films/books/people/etc as long as a very long arm indeed. My father was once almost detained at the airport because he had a copy of D.H. Lawrence’s Naive and Sentimental Lover in his luggage and the customs official thought it might be a bit “suggestive” in its content. Other “indecent, objectionable, or obscene” publications included Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and even Black Beauty - according to this page. The suggestion of this page is that Black Beauty was banned, without being read, by the Publications Control Board, as “its title seemed to suggest beauty existed outside the white race, and was therefore deemed offensive.” In light of this obsession with protecting the public from reading, seeing or hearing anything that might offend or affront them, it wouldn’t surprise me if films that showed inter-racial relationship (for example) were banned. Films such as Cry Freedom were banned because they portrayed the government in a bad light, others, such as The Exorcist were banned as too violent and The Last Temptation of Christ was just too controversial to even consider showing in “Christian” South Africa. And yet, The Cosby Show was a staple of South African TV in the 80’s - ahh, but they are educated kffrs, not like our lot…

As far as music goes - it too got thumped by the banning stick if it strayed too far from the expected norms. Probably the most famous inter-racial group was Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu’s Jaluka later to become Savuka who had their anti-apartheid song “One Man, One Vote” banned - although I don’t think the group itself was banned. All media was subject to heavy government control and would never dare play/show anything that was suspect. I remember watching a half-hour news broadcast where the lead story was that President PW Botha had said something or other at some meeting. Clearly the reporter had not got his nuances quite right, because before the end of the bulletin the President was on the telephone, live on air, giving the reporter a damn good ticking off and setting the record straight.

It was a bizarre situation to grow up under - our lives were soooooo controlled that we literally did not know what was happening in the non-White townships less than 2 miles from where we lived. I’m not making excuses, because plenty of (white) people did make the effort to find things out, to stand up against the government, to go to prison or into exile for what they believed, but it was very easy to simply believe what you were being told and not question it at all… It seems incredible looking back on it all, but that was my life…

Grim