Eddie Murphy Was Forced To Make Coming To America More White

In a new interview, Coming to America stars Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall said they were forced to add a white actor to their comedy classic.

By Ross Bonaime | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

Coming 2 America Eddie Murphy Arsenio Hall

By the time Coming to America was released in 1988, Eddie Murphy was already one of the biggest comedians in the world. With an iconic run on Saturday Night Live, an insanely popular stand-up career, and films like 48 Hrs., Trading Places, and Beverly Hills Cop, it seems by the end of the 1980s, Murphy should have been able to do whatever he wanted. However, in a new interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! while promoting the sequel Coming 2 America, Murphy, and Arsenio Hall said that Paramount Pictures said they were forced to add a while character to the hit film.

In the interview, Hall said, “I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it.” Hall continued, saying that “We were forced to put in a while person.” Hall also stated that Paramount sent Hall and Eddie Murphy a group of actors they could choose from. Hall said, “I had a list. They gave me a list with three white guys. They said, ‘Who would you rather work with?’ I said Louie.”

In Coming to America, Louie Anderson plays Maurice, who works at McDowell’s restaurant. Even though Anderson was forced into the film by Paramount, Anderson will be returning for the sequel. Insider contacted Paramount for further information on the Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall interview, but the studio did not give a response as of yet.

Coming to America Eddie Murphy Arsenio Hall

The sequel Coming 2 America was produced by Paramount Pictures, and was set for a theatrical release. However after the COVID-19 pandemic closed the majority of theaters in the United States, the studio sold the distribution rights to Amazon in a deal that was reportedly worth about $125 million. The deal was approved by Eddie Murphy, and apparently includes two marketing tie-ins that include Crown Royal and McDonald’s, which is parodied with the McDowell’s restaurant that Anderson works at.

In Coming 2 America, Eddie Murphy returns to the role of Prince Akeem Joffer, who becomes the king of Zamunda. Akeem discovers that he must return to America in order to find his son Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), and bring him back to help rule the kingdom of Zamunda. In addition to the return of Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, and Louie Anderson, the sequel also brings back Shari Headley, James Earl Jones, and John Amos, amongst others.

Coming 2 America is directed by Craig Brewer, who previously worked with Eddie Murphy on 2019’s Dolemite Is My Name. The film was seen as a sort of career resurgence for Murphy, who went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. In addition to a screenplay credited to Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield – who wrote the original Coming to America, the sequel also brings in Kenya Barris, best known for creating the ABC sitcom black-ish.

Coming to America Eddie Murphy

Louie Anderson looks to remain the sole white actor in Coming 2 America, which considering Eddie Murphy is also a producer on this sequel, seems to be fine with the star. Also joining the cast are Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, KiKi Layne, Teyana Taylor, and Rick Ross. Almost 33 years after the original film, Coming 2 America comes to Prime Video on March 5th.