• Charlize Theron speaks about “white privilege” during the apartheid era in South Africa

    In a recent onstage discussion, Charlize Theron has spoken about the apartheid era in South Africa and about the issue of “white privilege”. This was during a conversation with her “Gringo” costar David Oyelowo in the annual fundraiser for Nigerian children’s educational and health program GEANCO.

    “I obviously am a white person who benefited from my white privilege. I grew up during the apartheid era, I benefited from it.” said the Oscar-winning actress. “These children [today] were all born post-apartheid era. I feel like it’s my duty to not let them forget and to also let them know that there is [unity] that I am with them, that we are all standing together,” she added.

    The era of apartheid existed in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s and was centered on an authoritarian political culture that was based on the concepts of white supremacy.

    Charlize has always been vocal about the gender-based violence issues in South Africa including her experience on growing up with an abusive and alcoholic father. She is also supporting quite a few supporting HIV/Aids charities in the country as a part of her philanthropic activities.

    She added that it feels special interacting with children who do not know who she is but feels connected to her is someway. “A lot of those kids do not know who I am. Strangely, they always know that I am South African. And that’s heaven. It’s amazing to be around your sisters and to have that be the thing they know about you. It’s always moved me so much when they run up to me and say, ‘Hey, sissy!’”

    In an earlier interview, she had mentioned that growing up in the tremendously dark circumstances had left a mark on her. “Whether that’s your ideology or not, you’re living in it,” she mentioned. She was 15 when the apartheid laws were finally dissolved.

    She had also revealed that it was not until she was in her 20s and 30s that she was finally able to cope up with the anger and guilt that had piled up inside her from her childhood experience with apartheid.

    Recently she also called on the leaders in SA about the widespread violence against women in the country. Speaking about an anti-rape ad she had made in 1999 she said, “Rape and femicide are still a huge epidemic in SA and clearly the system has failed women. Our leaders can’t continue to turn a blind eye, as they did with this ad.”

    Theron will be next seen in the drama “Bombshell” where her performance is already earning wide-eyed praises after the movie was screened for the first time on last Sunday.



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