“I don’t think they batted an eye”: Bill Murray’s Ghostbusters Co-Star Sends Tone-Deaf Apology for Racist Blackface Portrayal

Bill Murray’s Ghostbusters Co-Star Sends Tone-Deaf Apology for Racist Blackface Portrayal
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Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd are one of the most famous on-screen co-stars in their Ghostbusters films. During an interview, Aykroyd even referred to Murray as one of his closest friends. So they get together well both on and off-screen. Turns out, both of them might have one unpleasant thing in common- alleged racism.


Dan Aykroyd did a blockbuster film called Trading Places (1983) with Eddie Murphy decades ago that grossed a cool $120 million on a $15 million budget. In the movie, he played a rich investment banker who switches lives with Murphy’s poor con artist. This meant that in one scene, he had to do a blackface.

Dan Aykroyd Knows He Won’t Be Able To Get Away With Doing Blackface Nowadays

Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Dan Aykroyd said that he got away with doing blackface for his film Trading Places 40 years ago. But today he certainly wouldn’t be able to. In the film, his character doesn’t just do blackface but also wears dreadlocks as well as uses a Caribbean accent during one scene. The actor said:


“I probably wouldn’t choose to do a Blackface part, nor would I be allowed to do it. I probably wouldn’t be allowed to do a Jamaican accent, white face, or Black. In these days we’re living in, all that’s out the window. I would be hard-pressed to do an English accent and get away with it. They’d say, ‘Oh, you’re not English, you can’t do it.’”

Read More: “He should be pierced with a lance”: Bill Murray Wished Death on Christian Bale’s $371M Movie Director After Being Accused of Headbutting Him

Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in Trading Places
Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in Trading Places

The Blues Brothers star also explained that the situation was different back then and nobody said anything to him. Not even Eddie Murphy or his entourage which consisted of only Black people. He said:

“Eddie is a Black man and his entourage were all Black people, and I don’t think they batted an eye. There was no objection then; nobody said anything. It was just a good comic beat that was truthful to the story.”

Today comedy like that won’t float and rightfully so. However, Dan Aykroyd isn’t the only one who has participated in such casual racism. His best friend Bill Murray has done too during the shooting of Charlie’s Angels.


Read More: “It was hard to get out of that pigeonhole”: Scarlett Johansson Regrets $118M Bill Murray Movie Turning Her into a ‘Bombshell’

Lucy Liu Alleged That Bill Murray Hurled Racial Insults At Her On the sets of Charlie’s Angels

Bill Murray in Charlie's Angels
Bill Murray in Charlie’s Angels

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times podcast, Lucy Liu alleged that Bill Murray had verbally attacked her on the set of Charlie’s Angels (2000). She also said that “some of the language was inexcusable and unacceptable.” The actress believed that Murray was pissed because some of his scenes were changed in his absence. She said:

“I couldn’t believe that could be towards me, because what do I have to do with anything majorly important at that time? I literally do the look around my shoulder thing, like, ‘Who is he talking to behind me?’” 

Read More: “He called and marked his territory”: Bill Murray Refused to Star With Tom Cruise in $412M Oscar-Winning Movie, Didn’t Even Read the Script Only to Regret it Later

Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu

The actress said that she didn’t let the alleged abuse slide. She confronted him straight on. Liu said:

“I was not going to just sit there and take it. So, yes, I stood up for myself, and I don’t regret it.” 

Bill Murray hasn’t responded to this allegation by Lucy Liu. It also doesn’t look like he or even Aykroyd will ever address such matters further if they aren’t hard-pressed to.

Trading Places and Charlie’s Angels are available on Amazon Prime Video.


Source: The Daily Beast 


Written by Ishita Chatterjee

Articles Published: 628

A literature graduate who loves sharing her views on everything pop-culture and entertainment. Ishita especially loves dreaming about superheroes and comic books when she isn't day dreaming about them everyday either way.