Louie Anderson has expressed surprise that Eddie Murphy was ‘forced’ to cast him in the 1988 hit comedy Coming to America because studio execs wanted to include a ‘white person’.
Murphy made the claim during an appearance on NBC’s Today last Wednesday, stating: ‘The whole cast was black, and the studio was like ‘We have to have someone white in this movie or we’re not going to make it’… So that’s how Louie wound up in the film.’
Anderson – who played fast food worker Maurice in the blockbuster comedy – appears to have spent the past 33 years unaware that he was a token inclusion, and took to Twitter to share his shock.
‘Wait, what?’ he wrote in a Twitter post shared last Wednesday above a clip of Murphy making the claim.
DailyMail.com have reached out to Anderson’s representatives for further comment.
The revelation could be particularly awkward given that Anderson also makes an appearance alongside Murphy in the upcoming sequel, Coming 2 America, which will be released on Amazon on Friday.
Louie Anderson has expressed surprise that Eddie Murphy was ‘forced’ to cast him in the 1988 hit comedy Coming to America because studio execs wanted to include a ‘white person’. Murphy and Anderson are seen together in the film
Louie Anderson, who played the role of fast food worker Maurice shared a clip of Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall’s comments with the words ‘wait what?’. Anderson also has a role in the sequel
Murphy made the claim during an appearance on NBC’s Today last Wednesday (pictured)
In recent weeks Murphy has repeatedly made the claim that he was ‘forced’ to include Anderson in the movie.
Murphy appeared with Coming to America co-star Arsenio Hall on Jimmy Kimmel Monday night, and the pair made a similar assertion.
‘I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it,’ Hall stated.
‘We were forced to put in a white person.’
Murphy told Kimmel that Paramount was adamant that the cast of the film, which included James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, John Amos, and Samuel L. Jackson, not be comprised exclusively of African Americans.
Murphy appeared with Coming to America co-star Arsenio Hall on Jimmy Kimmel Monday night, and the pair made a similar assertion
Hall and Murphy are seen in Coming to America. The pair are revising their roles in a sequel set for release on Friday
Anderson (pictured above in New York in 2019) will also make a cameo in the sequel
The actor appeared to imply that given it was the late 1980s, the studio felt the film would be more marketable to white audiences if there were a white actor cast in one of the supporting roles.
‘They were like, ‘There has to be a white person in the movie’,’ said Murphy, who plays the lead role, King Akeem, in the sequel, as well as a host of other characters in disguise.
‘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 said that Paramount gave him a list of three white actors to choose from.
‘It was official,’ said Hall, who will reprise his role in the sequel as Semmi, Akeem’s loyal servant.
‘I had a list. They gave me a list with three white guys.
‘They said, ‘Who would you rather work with?’
‘I said, ‘Louie’.’
Kimmel asked Hall to name the other two white actors who were passed over, but Hall declined.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Paramount’s parent company, ViacomCBS, and Anderson’s representatives for comment.
The sequel will also reunite Murphy with his on-screen love interest from the original, Shari Headley, who plays Lisa McDowell
Viewers will also be introduced to Akeem’s daughter, played by Kiki Layne (left)
Also returning from the original 1988 classic is Headley as Lisa McDowell, the love interest of Murphy’s Akeem; Jones as Jaffe Joffer, Akeem’s father; Amos as Cleo McDowell, Lisa’s father; and Vanessa Bell Calloway as Imani Izzi.
New cast members coming aboard for the sequel include Saturday Night Live alum Leslie Jones, Wesley Snipes, Kiki Layne, Tracy Morgan, and Jermaine Fowler.
Craig Brewer (Hustle and Flow) is directing from a screenplay by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris.
Initially, Paramount set a December 18, 2020 theatrical release date, but then sold the rights to the move to Amazon for $125million in light of the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The original movie earned $128.1million at the domestic box office, good for the third highest grossing movie of 1988, behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit? ($156.4million) and Best Picture winner Rain Man ($172.8 million).
Coming 2 America reverses the fish-out-of-water plot to bring Queens to Zamunda after Akeem learns he fathered a son (Fowler) on his first visit to New York.