Eddie Murphy & Arsenio Hall Reveal They Were Forced to Add a White Actor to ‘Coming to America’

by Jamila Lizet White

March 5, 2021

Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

The highly anticipated Coming 2 America is finally here and in addition to the original cast reprising their roles, Sandra ‘Pepa’ Denton, Teyana Taylor, and John Legend are a few of the celebrities set to join the cast.

Although it’s great to see representation in the sequel to the 1988 comedy classic, that wasn’t always the studio’s take as Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall recently revealed to Jimmy Kimmel that Paramount Pictures insisted that they add a white actor to the original film.

“I love Louie but I think we were forced to put Louie in it,” Hall said when Kimmel asked them how Louie Anderson joined the franchise as Maurice, the McDowell’s employee who was eager to grow his career with the fictitious fast-food chain. “No, I think we were forced to put a white person.”

“The 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,’” Murphy explained. “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.”

Kimmel chimed in and added that Anderson being the funniest white person they know is “a pretty great distinction.” As the 59-year-old comedian explained how Armstrong met the criteria, Hall disclosed that they were given three white actors to choose from and he happened to his first pick.

“They gave me a list with three white guys and said ‘Who would you rather work with?’ And I pointed to Louie,” he shared.

Watch the full interview below and tell us: How does Coming 2 America compare to the original?

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