Ernie Hudson said during a recent interview on SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Wrap Up Show” (via IndieWire) that “Ghostbusters” studio Columbia Pictures “selectively pushed [him] aside” during the making and marketing of the 1984 supernatural comedy classic. Hudson starred in the film opposite Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd as fellow ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore, but he was not featured on the film’s theatrical poster.
“The studio wasn’t [inclusive], and the studio continued not to be,” Hudson said. “So it made it very, very difficult because I was a part of it but then I very selectively was pushed aside… The original script, Winston was in the very beginning of the movie. By the time we got ready to shoot the movie, Winston came in halfway through the movie. All those things… It definitely felt deliberate.”
Hudson continued, “When the posters came out, I’m not on the poster. It took a long time. I went to the 30th anniversary release of the movie and all the posters are three guys. Now I know the fans see it differently, and I’m so thankful for the fans because the fans basically identified with Winston — especially young, I don’t want to say minority kids, but a lot of kids.”
According to Hudson, the making of “Ghostbusters” and its theatrical release remain “the most difficult movie” of his career “from the psychological perspective.”
“I’m still not trying to take it personally,” Hudson said. “Anything bad, if you’re African American in this country, anything bad happens to you, you can always blame it on [being] Black. You don’t want to go there. That’s the last thing I want to do. I got nothing bad to say about anybody but it was hard. It took me 10 years to get past that and enjoy the movie and just embrace the movie. ‘Ghostbusters’ was really hard to make peace with.”
Hudson reprised the role of Winston in the 1989 sequel “Ghostbusters II” and most recently had a small role in the 2021 franchise reboot “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.” He told Howard Stern that he will film scenes for the franchise’s next installment.
“Even now, we’re negotiating a new movie that’s gearing up to start shooting in March, and I’m like, ‘Guys, there’s a place… I’m not an add-on,’” Hudson said. “So if I’m going to do it, it has to make sense.”
The sequel to “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is currently set for a Dec. 20, 2023 release from Sony.