International superstar, Eddie Murphy, has attributed the lack of diversity in the film industry to the fact that ‘white men run this business’ as he discussed the highly-anticipated sequel to his film, ‘Coming to America’.
The movie star made this assertion while speaking in an interview with Radio Times, where he discussed his experience with racism in Hollywood and why there has been a lack of diversity in the film industry.
“White men run this business and 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”.Eddie Murphy
When asked if he has ever experienced racism in the industry, Eddie responded: “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 made 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 to face some s**t”.
While reflecting on a shift in contemporary attitudes, he suggested that comedy hasn’t changed since the film’s initial release in 1988, but admitted that people are ‘more uptight’ due to a shift in political correctness. He said: “we’re going through a period of political correctness’ which is impacting the medium. Times change and tastes change, but funny is still funny… there’s no expiration date on funny”
Despite tallying a long list of blockbuster movies and golden moments in comedy, Eddie said his proudest achievement has nothing to do with work. Instead, the father-of-ten takes great pride in his children, as he told the publication they are all smart and loving individuals who he credits as his ‘legacy’. As he turns 60 in April, Eddie revealed his parenthood journey and confirmed it transformed him as a person and made him emotionally rounded.
According to the father-of-ten, he is a ‘hands-on’ dad, especially with his youngest son Max, but he skips on changing his diapers as he blamed it on the fact that he ‘doesn’t do a good job’.
Speaking of family issues, it is important to mention that Eddie Murphy’s 19-year old daughter, Bella Murphy is making her acting debut as well in the sequel, ‘Coming To America’. Bella made it clear, however, that she didn’t just get the role because of her father’s stature; she had to audition.
“She had to audition for Craig Brewer, who directed the movie. I wasn’t muscling my kid into the movie. She had to really be able to deliver. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have gotten the role”.Eddie Murphy
Bella also said: “I just wanted to be good. I didn’t want people to watch it and be like, ‘Oh, that must be his daughter because she can’t keep up with everyone else’. I just really wanted to do the best that I could and I’m really proud of how it turned out”.
The original ‘Coming to America’ debuted over 30 years ago, and followed Eddie’s Prince Akeem from the fictional country of Zumunda, as he travels to America to find his bride. The original comedy, which also starred Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, and James Earl Jones, was a hit at the box office, the second-highest-grossing movie of the year, though Murphy didn’t realize how much it resonated with audiences until 25 years later.