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Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall Claim Paramount ‘Forced’ Them To Cast A White Actor In ‘Coming To America’

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Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to talk about the sequel to the film Coming to America called Coming 2 America. The pair revealed that Paramount allegedly forced them to cast a white actor in the original 1988 film – Louie Anderson, who played Maurice.

“I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it,” says Hall. “We were forced to put in a white person.” Paramount executives also allegedly insisted to not have 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.”

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Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy tell all about being forced to cast a white actor in original 1988 film

COMING TO AMERICA, from left, Arsenio Hall, Eddie Murphy, 1988, ©Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

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

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RELATED: Eddie Murphy’s Daughter Playing Big Role In New Movie

The sequel is to release in March 2021 and will also feature one of Murphy’s daughters, Bella. The 19-year-old is following in her famous father’s footsteps and entering showbiz. The one rule they had as a family, though, was that none of the kids could enter the industry until they were adults. Bella was 17 at the time when she asked to be an extra in Coming 2 America, so she didn’t think it would even be a possibility. Not only was it a possibility, but she became a full-fledged cast member.

What to expect from the sequel: Murphy’s daughter’s debut

COMING 2 AMERICA, (aka COMING TO AMERICA 2), from left: Arsenio Hall, Eddie Murphy, 2021. © Amazon Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Me and my dad do lots of acting scenes together, just for fun,” Bella says of her dad. “He’s a great teacher and it’s just something we enjoy doing. We also watch a bunch of movies, and I was going to acting classes.”

“I think he just saw that, and saw how passionate I was about it, and was like, ‘I think I’m just going to let you audition for the princess if you want. He gave that option to me. Which of course I took, because I wanted to do it. So I did the audition, and I practiced with him, and it was awesome.”

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