Ernie Hudson Reveals His Iconic Ghostbusters Role Actually Wasn't So Great: 'I'm Not An Add-On'

Ernie Hudson sits at his desk while telling a story in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

In the long run of the Ghostbusters franchise, there’s been a sort of continued disrespect to Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore. While Ghostbusters: Afterlife seemed to begin correcting that error, a recent interview with Hudson seems to be suggesting continued troubles. Through negotiations for the most recent films, as well as past wrongs mentioned by the actor, the experience of filming the 1984 sci-fi movie classic and beyond doesn’t sound so great.

Ernie Hudson on Quantum Leap

(Image credit: NBC)

Ernie Hudson’s Stance On Ghostbusters, And How It’s Connected To Afterlife's Sequel

During an episode of The Howard Stern Wrap Up Show, interviewer Rashaan Rogers inquired about the complicated history surrounding Ernie Hudson’s role. Citing his often mentioned absence on the posters and promotional art, the Ghostbusters star connected those troubles to these current dealings for the sequel to Jason Reitman’s massive hit legacy-quel:

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 that I’m not an add-on. And so if I’m gonna do it, it has to make sense.’

What seemed to change, at least in the instance of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, was a newfound respect given to Hudson’s character. The actor thanked Jason Reitman for that improvement, which saw Winston returning to the fold as a part of the old guard ushering in the new kids. Going on to make his character a successful businessman who’s planning to resurrect the entire Ghostbusters business, it felt like Ernie was getting his due. 

Looking at his new comments on the matter, it sounds as if there’s a potential for Ghostbusters history to be back to square one when it comes to a vastly overlooked team member. Should that be case, Mr. Hudson's attempts to avoid a repeat of such past history are more than justified.

Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Bill Murray in Ghostbusters

(Image credit: Archive Photos / Stringer)

The History Behind Ernie Hudson's Not-So-Great Ghostbusters Experience

Problems were a part of Ernie Hudson’s Ghostbusters experience from day one, when the role of Winston Zeddemore was drastically changed. Initially involved from the beginning of the adventure and written as a former Air Force major, it was a stronger role that compelled Hudson to sign on. By the time production started, Winston was introduced only after a good deal of hijinks had occurred with what seemed to be the core three cast members.

Ernie Hudson never faulted Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd or the late Harold Ramis for this Ghostbusters unpleasantness. Rather, as you’ll see in the video pulled from this interview, the actor sets that blame squarely on the studio:  

Many promotional photos and posters still in circulation show Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis front and center, with Hudson nowhere to be seen. Having to still point that fact out is a troubling development, especially when it could affect Ernie Hudson’s participation on Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s sequel.

As the clock ticks down to next month’s supposed start of production, all anyone can hope for is the powers that be to do good by Hudson, and his iconic member of the bustin’ team. The as-of-yet untitled sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set to hit theaters on December 23rd, so there’s presumably not a lot of time to spend with such wranglings.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.