An open letter to Ernie Hudson (that he will never read)

Dear Mr. Hudson,

Your recent article about the fate of the character Winston in the Ghostbusters movie, just broke my heart. There is probably nothing more gnawing than dashed hopes and unrealized potential. I think you’re right. The ex-military guy would have been a bigger role to play, and would have been really interesting–an added dimension for the millions of Ghostbuster fans of color like me. We don’t see enough of ourselves in popular culture, and when we do, it’s often in over-used tropes, or in reduced roles. This was hard for you. It’s hard for us, too.

Winston_GB1But, Mr. Hudson, I loved Winston. You did him justice. Probably because at the time, you and that new character they wrote for you had a lot in common. You were the guy who just needed the job. You were looking for a break, and you were willing to do whatever you needed to do to get it. As I read your article, I was surprised at how well I remembered the scene where you show up looking for work. The line where you say you’ll believe anything if there’s a steady paycheck in it is funny because it’s true. How many people have worked jobs that they didn’t love to put food on the table? Probably all of us at one time or another. I’m not sure why that resonated with me as a kid. Maybe I had seen that look before in the grownups around me.

Ecto1 LegoEven though this was not the role you had hoped for, it was meaningful to a lot of people. I recently walked into a Lego store with my son and walked out with my own Ecto-1. (Which I have not built yet. It’s been two months. Maybe I’ll get to it by Christmas.) That movie remains one of my favorites in no small part because of Winston and you, Mr. Hudson.

Thanks for that.

And here’s hoping you still get that role that you deserve.

Your fan,


4 thoughts on “An open letter to Ernie Hudson (that he will never read)

  1. Jackie Wellington says:

    Tracey, this is so true. I agree with every word you wrote. I look back at movies that showcase African-Americans and I find myself analyzing the roles they play. There are many of which I am proud. And there are those that I mumble, “What in the world were they thinking when they allowed such-and-such to play this role. I did not like Halle Berry in Monster Ball or BAPS. Yet, she won an Academy Award for it. I loved the Winston character. And Ernie did the best he could with what he was given. At least, no one asked him to star in BAPS…Just saying.

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