Eddie Murphy Was Forced To Hire A White Actor For 1988’s ‘Coming To America’

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 12: Eddie Murphy, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, attends the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Champagne Collet)

Eddie Murphy Was Forced To Hire A White Actor For 1988’s ‘Coming To America’

Comic Louie Anderson played a character named Maurice.

UPDATED ON : MARCH 2, 2021 / 06:35 PM

The world is anticipating the sequel to the 1988 classic Coming To America. However, although Eddie Murphy was one of the biggest stars on the planet at the time, it appears even he was forced to go by the confines of Hollywood in the late 1980s.

While talking to TV host Jimmy Kimmel on March 1, Murphy and his co-star Arsenio Hall said the small role comic Louie Anderson had in the film was due to pressure from Paramount Pictures. Anderson played Maurice, an employee at the fast-food restaurant McDowell’s.

Hall said, “I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it. We were forced to put a white person.”

RELATED: Watch Eddie Murphy On Set For ‘Coming To America 2’

Murphy, 59, added, "[T]he whole cast is Black — and this was back in the ‘80s — so [Paramount] was like, ‘We have to have a white person! There has to be a white person in the movie. So it was, ‘Who’s the funniest white guy around?’ And Louie, we knew him. We was cool with him. So that’s how Louie got in the movie.”

That said, Louie does appear in the sequel, which drops on Amazon Prime March 5.

Directed by Craig Brewer and co-written by Murphy, Coming 2 America will see his character return as Prince Akeem who is set to be crowned as king. However, he soon discovers that he has a son from Queens, New York that he never knew existed. To honor his father’s (James Earl Jones) dying wish and to prepare his son to be the newly crowned prince, Murphy’s beloved character returns to America once again. 

Watch Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall’s interview with Jimmy Kimmel below:


Written by BET Staff

(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Champagne Collet)


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