After much talk and anticipation, Eddie Murphy finally made his triumphant return to “Saturday Night Live” on Dec. 21. The legendary actor and comedian hosted the long running show and also brought back some of his classic characters, including Gumby, Mister Robinson and Buckwheat.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Murphy’s return gave “SNL” its best ratings in two years. And many on social media said how much they enjoyed seeing him crack jokes again.
But not everyone was thrilled about Murphy’s “SNL” comeback, namely Bill Cosby‘s publicist Andrew Wyatt, who slammed him for telling a joke about the jailed comedian.
Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in April of 2018 and is serving a 3-to-10-year sentence at SCI-Phoenix in suburban Philadelphia. And during Murphy’s opening monologue, he talked about how things turned out.
“If you would have told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring, stay-at-home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I would have took that bet,” said Murphy, who also impersonated the veteran entertainer. “Who is America’s dad now?”
Wyatt issued his message to Murphy Sunday on Instagram and explained why he thought his words were so offensive.
“Mr. Cosby became the first Black to win an Emmy for his role in ‘I Spy,’ and Mr. Cosby broke color barriers in the entertainment industry, so that Blacks like Eddie Murphy, Dave [Chappelle], Kevin Hart and et al., could have an opportunity to showcase their talents for many generations to come,” wrote Wyatt.
“It is sad that Mr. Murphy would take this glorious moment of returning to SNL and make disparaging remarks against Mr. Cosby,” he added. “One would think that Mr. Murphy was given his freedom to leave the plantation, so that he could make his own decisions; but he decided to sell himself back to being a Hollywood slave. Stepin Fetchit plus cooning equals the destruction of Black Men in Hollywood.”
Wyatt then invited Murphy to “Discuss how we can use our collective platforms to enhance Black people rather than bringing all of us down together.”
In the past, Murphy talked about Cosby not being very friendly to him during his heyday and said he would often chastise him about his raunchy material.
It was something the “Coming to America” star joked about during his 1987 stand-up special “Raw,” and he talked about it more seriously on Jerry Seinfeld‘s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” earlier this year.
“He had a weird thing with me that he didn’t have with other comics,” Murphy told Seinfeld. “It was mean … [He would say] ‘You shouldn’t get on the stage unless you have something to say.’ He wasn’t nice. He wasn’t doing that with everybody, he was doing that with me specifically. He was sh-tty with me.”