Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall both claim Paramount Pictures forced them to cast a white actor in the original “Coming To America” movie in 1988. In the film, Emmy-winning actor Louie Anderson was part of the cast as Maurice.
“I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it,” Hall says during an appearance with Murphy on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to promote the sequel “Coming 2 America”, in which both actors reprise their roles.
“We were forced to put in a white person,” Hall says of the original film while Murphy recalls Paramount executives allegedly insisted the film not feature an all-Black cast.
“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,” Murphy adds.
Hall claims the studio presented the pair with a list of white actors to choose from for the role of Maurice.
“It was official,” he says. “I had a list. They gave me a list with three white guys. They said, ‘Who would you rather work with?’ I said ‘Louie.'”
The actors will once again work with Anderson, who will appear in the sequel — out on Amazon Prime Video on March 5.