On Monday, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote the long-awaited Coming to America sequel, Coming 2 America.
During the interview, they revealed that Paramount Pictures forced them to cast a white actor in the original 1988 film, Yahoo!Entertainment reports. That actor was Louie Anderson, who played Maurice.
Kimmel asked, “How did Louie come to be a part of that film and your world there?
“I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it. We were forced to put in a white person,” Hall said.
Murphy recalled the executives from Paramount Pictures insisting that the film not have an all-black cast saying, “They were like, ‘We have to have a white person! 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 gave them an “official” list of white actors to choose from, saying “they gave me a list with three white guys. They said, ‘Who would you rather work with?’ I said Louie.”
Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall haven’t seen each other in over a year, due to the pandemic, but they remain very close. Hall is the godfather to Eddie Murphy’s daughter, Bria.
When asked if they had any nicknames for each other, Murphy says smiling, “Yes, I call him punk a– b—–.” To which Arsenio retorts, “Okay now the pandemic can never end because I’m whooping your a– you punk a– b—- on national television.”