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The Ghostbusters Cast Member Who Was Rejected From The Cartoon Series

While it's not nearly as expansive as its other 1980s counterparts like Star Wars or The Terminator, the Ghostbusters IP has seen its fair share of additions over the past few decades. Following the success of the original 1984 movie and preceding the highly anticipated Ghostbusters 2 in 1989, the children's cartoon The Real Ghostbusters debuted on television sets across the world. Running from 1986 to 1991, it managed to pack in an impressive 140 episodes within its seven seasons, and not a single one included the voice talents of any of the four Ghostbuster actors from the live-action films.

Back in the day, it was customary for major blockbusters to get their own animated programs down the line — from Beetlejuice to The Karate Kid. Their quality and longevity varied greatly, but a frequent commonality among them was their lack of participation from the thespians that made the franchise a hit in the first place. In the case of The Real Ghostbusters, Lorenzo Music started as Peter Venkman before John Coulier took over, Maurice LaMarche portrayed Egon Spengler, Frank Welker voiced Ray Stantz, and Arsenio Hall signed on as Winston Zeddemore until Buster Jones replaced him in the back end of the series.

However, as the show came together, one cinematic Ghostbuster attempted to reprise their iconic role in hand-drawn form, only to ultimately face rejection for a laughable reason.

Ernie Hudson wasn't Winston enough for The Real Ghostbusters

As the story goes, Ernie Hudson — the man behind Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 — didn't sound enough like Winston Zeddemore to the producers of The Real Ghostbusters.

In a 2012 interview with A.V. Club, Hudson went into detail about his career and some of the iconic roles he held over the years. On the topic of Ghostbusters, he finally shed some light on the long-standing urban legend around his Real Ghostbusters rejection, saying, "I went in to read the material, and the guy said, 'No, no, no, that's all wrong! When Ernie Hudson did it in the movie...' And I'm like, 'Well, wait a minute: I am Ernie Hudson!'"

Hudson mentioned that the spot as animated Winston was his for the taking, but, unbeknownst to him, that wasn't exactly the case. "They called me about it ... and then I never heard anything from them. Then I found out that Arsenio [Hall] was doing it," Hudson explained. He added, "I was really disappointed because the thought of someone else doing Winston was not something I felt great about."

The actor then clarified that Hall is a friend of his, and he holds no ill will toward him for taking the gig. He does, however, remain confused over the whole ordeal — especially since the folks behind The Real Ghostbusters went to the trouble of bringing him in to read for the part, telling him that he wasn't even technically auditioning, and then ghosting him ... pun intended.

Nevertheless, Hudson did get to return the role in two other projects: Ghostbusters: The Video Game and the LEGO Dimensions Ghostbusters expansion. Plus, he'll get another live-action run in 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife, alongside Bill Murray as Peter Venkman and Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stantz — further cementing his legacy as the one, true Winston Zeddemore.