‘Ghostbusters’ Star Perfectly Slaps Down Suggestions He Was Victim of Racism

‘Ghostbusters’ Star Perfectly Slaps Down Suggestions He Was Victim of Racism

While too many of our modern actors have been quick to cry racism at the sign of the slightest inconvenience, the old-school actors have consistently resisted falling for the bait of racial politics.

One such actor was “Ghostbusters” actor Ernie Hudson, who, in a recent interview, pushed back against a reporter’s attempts to blame any hint of unpleasantness in his career on the dreaded “R” word.

As reported by British publication The Independent, Hudson sat down for an interview in anticipation of the upcoming “Ghostbusters” film, “Frozen Empire,” where Hudson reprised his role as Winston Zeddemore from the original 1984 film.

The article noted that, while the role had, allegedly, originally been offered to comedian Eddie Murphy, at the time perhaps the most popular comedian in the entire world, Murphy ended up turning it down.

That left the part open for the relatively unknown Hudson.

However, after he accepted the role, his part was slowly reduced over the course of production, with Hudson’s character not even appearing until the second act.

Although the article did not include the questions from the reporter, clearly there was some sort of racial subtext in the questions asked on this topic, based on Hudson’s response.

Hudson refused to chalk up his reduced screen time to racism, explaining that “it’s very tempting, sometimes, to blame anything that doesn’t work in your life on racism. But there are a lot of things that play into it. It’s not quite that simple.”

Hudson continued, saying, “We can say it’s a racial thing, but I think if Eddie Murphy had played the role I played, he would have been paid very well.”

Hudson had an excellent point.

At the time “Ghostbusters” went into production, Hudson was not a household name, unlike his costars Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd.

By 1984, all of Hudson’s costars had achieved fame via Saturday Night Live, previous hit films or some combination thereof.

Hudson was a working actor, but nothing like a household name, as Murray or Murphy were, or even Aykroyd or Ramis.

Fox News’ story on the interview likewise highlighted a 2020 interview in which Hudson expressed the same sentiments, saying, “I think they said for the story, you know, we got three guys who are really established in the industry, and I was really just getting started.”

As Hudson told the interviewer, at the end of the day, the film industry is a business, and the studio wanted to save and make as much money as possible.

If the studio had an excuse to pay one of their four stars less money, then of course they would choose to sideline and reduce the pay of the less well-known actor.

But, as Hudson explained in a 2014 interview with The Guardian, “If I go to the racial side of it and blame that, it takes all my power away, because if I blame racism there’s nothing I can learn from it.”

So many people in Hollywood today have played the victim card if the studio refused to bend to their every ludicrous whim.

For instance, while Don Lemon chalked up his firing by Elon Musk to racism and all sorts of other “isms,” recent rumors have alleged it came more from diva behavior than anything else.

Hudson, in this interview, represented the mature and balanced view of race relations common in many old-school minority actors, like Morgan Freeman or Billy Dee Williams.

These actors often faced genuine racism as they struggled to build their careers, and yet they had no desire to play that victim card when prompted by their younger, often far more privileged compatriots.

Instead, they took a common-sense view of the world and the movie-making business, and strove to make it on their own merits, regardless of real or perceived racism.

Yes, racism existed then and exists now, but racism was not the dominant force that explained every bad thing that has ever happened in the world, even before our more ‘enlightened’ era.

Sometimes, as Hudson himself understood full well, it wasn’t racism — it was just business.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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