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‘I Transcend That Stuff’: Eddie Murphy Says Race Was Never An Issue During His Hollywood Career

‘I Transcend That Stuff’: Eddie Murphy Says Race Was Never An Issue During His Hollywood Career

Eddie Murphy
‘I Transcend That Stuff’: Eddie Murphy Says Race Was Never An Issue During His Hollywood Career. Paige Butcher, left, and Eddie Murphy arrive at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

As he makes his return as the beloved Prince Akeem in “Coming 2 America” – the highly anticipated sequel to his classic movie – Eddie Murphy said racism has never hindered his Hollywood career.

“In terms of my work and my career, race has never been an issue,” Murphy, 59, told the Radio Times. “I’ve been making movies for 40 years and never once could I not get a movie made because I was Black. I transcended that stuff. But that’s not to say I walked out of heaven and into Hollywood.”

Murphy said while his Hollywood career wasn’t hindered, he did face other obstacles because of his race. “I’m a Black man who was born in America; I’m African American. Growing up in this country, there’s no way you’re not going to have to face some sh*t,” Murphy said.

The legendary actor and comedian noted Black people were not the only ones who face discrimination in Hollywood. He said the movie industry lacks diversity because it is “run by white men.”


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“It’s been this way for years and years, but it’s not just African-Americans; it’s also about women and other minorities, too,’ Murphy said. “White men run this business. It’s always been this way.”

Recently, Murphy and co-star Arsenio Hall underscored this point when they revealed Louie Anderson was cast in the original movie because Paramount Pictures insisted there was a white cast member.

“I love Louie [Anderson] but I think we were forced to put Louie in it,” Hall told Jimmy Kimmel while laughing. “No, I think we were forced to put a white person.”

“Paramount was like … because the whole cast was Black and this was back in the ’80s, so it was 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,” Murphy added.

In the sequel, newly crowned King Akeem learns about a son he has in America. His father, King Jaffe, tells him he must find the boy and make him crown prince because Akeem and Lisa only have daughters and a woman cannot be named Queen of Zamunda. So Akeem and Semmi return to the U.S. for a new adventure.

Coming 2 America is now available on Amazon Prime Video.