Filmmaker, Leila Djansi has criticized Hollywood following the release of popular movie, “Coming 2 America” meant to be a sequel of the original 1988 movie featuring Eddie Murphy.
She described coming 2 America as a movie which is propagating a narrative that is very derogatory towards Africa. In Her own words, Leila said the movie is “mildly offensive,” “racist,” “discriminatory” and “disrespectful” towards Africa.
“As an African, I found #Coming2America mildly offensive. Jungles, wild animals, child warriors and war. Come on Hollywood, these tropes show how discriminatory and disrespectful y’all are. Enough!” she said.
Her concerns were born out of claims that the storyline of the movie deliberately amplified certain negative perceptions held about the continent. She said that “there’s more to Africa and please don’t try hiding em within wealth. I don’t understand this unwillingness to change and accept that these images and ideas are wrong, mostly lies. Spent 15 years of my life in Ghana and never even seen a squirrel. Child soldiers? Chicago gun-totting gang kids? Can we talk about that?”
She acknowledged that, “Africans are regular people. African cities are cosmopolitan. African villages are what they are based on culture and geography;” adding that, “let’s not discuss villages in the South. Georgia? These are the images and narratives used to keep Africa oppressed and the African from advancing. It’s racist!”
The original movie told a story of a prince who left a self-reliant fictional African country called Zamunda to New York in a bid to escape from an arranged marriage to find his own love. The sequel has also been criticized for some other stereotypical impressions. David Jesudason identified that the movie still refers to Africa as a homogeneous entity. He made reference to the fact that “when the Zamundan court servants are commanded to clean and bathe the US visitors, it is accepted as an “African” custom by them.”
The drama keeps multiplying. Days ago when Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall visited Jimmy Kimmel to promote the movie, they disclosed that they were forced to include a white character in the movie. “I love Louie [Anderson,] but I think we were forced to put Louie in it. I think we were forced to put in a white person.” Arsenio Hall said.
Eddie Murphy added that “paramount was like because the whole cast was Black and this was back in the ‘80s. So it was like, ‘We have to have a white person. There has to be a white person in the movie’… So who was the funniest white guy around? Louie, we knew was cool, so that’s how Louie got in the movie.”