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Eddie Murphy says race has ‘never’ affected his career: ‘I transcended that stuff’

Isobel Lewis
·1-min read
 (Getty Images for Critics Choice )
(Getty Images for Critics Choice )

Eddie Murphy says that his race has “never been an issue” in his career in Hollywood.

The actor rose to fame on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984, while also pursuing a successful career as a stand-up comedian.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Murphy said that he’d been able to “transcend” the issue of racism in his career, but admitted that it hadn’t always been easy.

“In terms of my work and my career, race has never been an issue,” he said.

“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.”

Read more: Eddie Murphy reflects on legacy of Coming to America

“I’m a black man who was born in America; I’m African American,” he continued. “Growing up in this country, there’s no way you’re not going to have to face some s***.”

Speaking about Hollywood’s lack of diversity, he continued: “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. White men run this business. It’s always been this way.”

Murphy will next star in Coming 2 America, a sequel to the 1988 comedy film Coming to America, in which Murphy played an African prince who travels to the US in search of a wife.

The sequel sees Murphy reunite with Arsenio Hall, who plays his best friend Semmi. It will also star Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan and KiKi Layne.