Dan Aykroyd Addresses Blackface In 'Trading Places', Says He 'Wouldn't Choose To Do' The Part Today

Dan Aykroyd Addresses Blackface In ‘Trading Places’, Says He ‘Wouldn’t Choose To Do’ The Part Today

Dan Aykroyd says he wouldn’t do blackface today like he did alongside Eddie Murphy in 1983 Exchange places.

The comedian, writer and actor reflected on the film’s use in the class-exchange comedy directed by John Landis, which began 40 years ago in a recent interview with The daily beast. As well as discussing how the film impacted his growth Saturday night live of Murphy’s career, working with Jamie Lee Curtis and Landis’ filmmaking style, Aykroyd touched on how elements of film, especially the use of makeup technique that is historically rooted in racism, would not be present in Hollywood Today.

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“I was in blackface in that movie and I probably couldn’t get away with it now,” Aykroyd said as he discussed how his character, Louis Winthorpe III, came across as a Jamaican character with dreadlocks and a stereotypical Caribbean accent. “Eddie and I were jamming there. Eddie is a black man and his entourage was all black, and I don’t think they bat an eye. There were no objections then; nobody said anything. It was just good comedic pacing that was true to the story.

Despite the intention and reaction back then, the film’s star – who saw his investor switch places with Murphy’s crook as part of a two-millionaire wager – said he wouldn’t choose to do something like this now. .

“I probably wouldn’t choose to do a blackface part, nor would I be allowed to. I probably wouldn’t be allowed to do a Jamaican accent, a black or white face,” he said. “In these days that we live in, everything is out the window. Oh, you’re not English, you can’t do that’”.

While you talk to The Hollywood Reporter for a 2021 interview on Ghostbusters: Afterlife, working with the late John Candy and more, the actor addressed how comedy has changed over time and why there is currently “enough range of humor” that comedians don’t have to “pull out cards that divide by have a laugh”.

“There is so much in the world to comment on that is outside the realm of offensiveness. As a writer, you can go into other areas and have successful creative endeavors. Scatological humor is fun. It’s easy to laugh. But there is smarter writing that can happen if you stay away from offensive material that should rightfully be deleted for its harmfulness,” he said. “Who can be the subject of an impression today? That is an area for discussion. Can I do my James Brown impression? He was one of my best friends. I do his voice pretty well. But maybe I shouldn’t anymore.