Dan Aykroyd reflected on his role in the 1983 film Trading Places. During the film, whom he co starred alongside Eddie Murphy, his character, Louis Winthorpe III, wears blackface, dreads, and a stereotypical Jamaican accent. Aykroyd admitted he wouldn't do that again, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Forty years ago, the John Landis comedy about class and switching places came to theaters. In a recent interview about the fortieth anniversary of Trading Places, Dan Aykroyd talked a bit about how the industry was different and allowed blackface, the makeup practice rooted in racism.

“I was in blackface in that film and I probably couldn’t get away with it now,” Aykroyd said. “Eddie (Murphy) and I were improvising there. 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.”

Despite the intention and reaction to it then, the actor admitted it wasn't something he would do now.


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“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,” he said. “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.'”

In the past, Aykroyd spoke on the topic, saying writing can be better than that. “There is so much in the world to comment on that is outside the realm of offensiveness. As a writer, you can go to other areas and have successful creative endeavors. Scatological humor is fun. It’s easy laughs. But there is more intelligent writing that can happen if you stay away from the offensive material that should be rightly canceled for its hurtfulness,” he said.