Eddie Murphy has had his say on the lack of diversity in Hollywood and shared his belief it starts from the top, as he called out the industry’s bosses for being predominantly white men.
Speaking in a new interview, the actor, 59, addressed the need for change, although he did admit that race has ‘never been an issue’ for him throughout his four-decade long career.
‘White men run this business. It’s always been this way,’ Eddie told Radio Times.
‘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,’ he added.
Reflecting on his own experience in Hollywood, Eddie, who stars in upcoming release Coming 2 America – the sequel to the 1988 original – said that he thinks he was able to transcend systemic racism within the industry.
He continued: ‘In terms of my work and my career, race has never been an issue. I’ve been making movies for 40 years and never once could I not get a movie because I was Black.
‘I transcended that stuff, but that’s not to say I walked out of heaven and into Hollywood. 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 face some sh*t.’
Eddie, who is best known for his funny movies such as Beverly Hills Cop, The Nutty Professor, Daddy Day Care and Shrek, touched on how comedy has evolved over the years, as tastes change.
He claimed that the world is going through a ‘period of political correctness’ and while he thinks comedy has no ‘expiration date’, Eddie has noticed a shift in people’s response and feels these days they are a ‘little more uptight’ when it comes to seeing funny things onscreen.
That hasn’t stopped him from doing what he does best, however, and Eddie is set to entertain us all with his new belly-laugh-inducing movie Coming 2 America, which is gearing up for its release this week.
It sees Eddie reprise his role as Prince (now King) Akeem Joffer as he returns to New York to honour his father’s dying wish of finding his long lost son and the heir to Zamunda.
The events of the second film take place three decades on from the original movie that saw Akeem and his best pal/aide Semmi (played by Arsenio Hall) head to New York after his 21st birthday to search for a bride, after Akeem’s parents tried to force him into an arranged marriage.
Murphy has teased that fans can expect big things from the sequel and revealed he’s thrilled with how the film turned out – especially after being warned not to ‘f**k it up’.
‘I’m just over the moon with how it’s turned out,’ he told Variety. ‘I don’t know what it is about that movie, but that’s the one movie that I’ve done that, like, on Halloween people dress up like the characters, and people always say lines from that movie to me.’
Coming 2 America will be dropping on Amazon Prime Video, after the streaming platform bagged the rights to the movie, following the success of Borat 2 – which ditched a cinematic release amid the pandemic and was watched by tens of millions of viewers on its opening weekend.
Coming 2 America lands on Amazon Prime Video on March 5.
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