Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall claim Paramount ‘forced’ them to cast a white actor in ‘Coming to America’

Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall appeared Monday on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote the long-awaited Coming to America sequel, Coming 2 America. During the interview, they also revealed that Paramount Pictures forced them to cast a white actor in the original 1988 film. That actor was Louie Anderson, who played Maurice.

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

Murphy also recalled Paramount Pictures executives insisting that the film not have an all black cast. He said, “They were like, ‘There has to be a white person in the movie.’ I was like, ‘What?’ So who was the funniest white guy around? We knew Louie was cool, so that’s how Louie got in the movie. ”

Hall claims that the studio actually gave them a list of white actors to choose from. “It was official,” said Hall. “I had a list. They gave me a list with three white guys. They said, ‘Who would you rather work with?’ I said, ‘Louie.’ ”

Anderson also appears in the sequel film, which comes out March 5 on Amazon Prime Video.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 pm on ABC.

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