Bill Cosby’s rep calls Eddie Murphy a ‘Hollywood slave’ after ‘SNL’ joke

Eddie Murphy ticked off Bill Cosby's team with a joke during his "Saturday Night Live" monologue over the weekend.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

A spokesman for Bill Cosby has gone off on Eddie Murphy, calling him a “Hollywood slave” and worse after Murphy made a joke about Cosby during his “Saturday Night Live” monologue this past weekend.

The “Dolemite Is My Name” star returned to host the NBC show 35 years after leaving its cast to pursue a red-hot film career.

Noting Saturday night that he had recently welcomed his 10th son, Murphy joked, “If you were to tell me 30 years ago that I would be this boring, stay-at-home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail — even I woulda took that bet.”

Mimicking Cosby, Murphy said, “‘Who is America’s Dad now?’” Former sitcom star Cosby is serving a 10-year sentence for sexual assault.


Spokesman Andrew Wyatt posted an angry statement via Cosby’s Instagram account on Sunday evening.

“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 Chappell, Kevin Hart and et al., could have an opportunity to showcase their talents for many generations to come,” he said.

Then he launched into the angry part, which included racial slurs.

“It is sad that Mr. Murphy would take this glorious moment of returning to SNL and make disparaging remarks against Mr. Cosby. 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,” Wyatt said.

“Remember, Mr. Murphy, that Bill Cosby became legendary because he used comedy to humanize all races, religions and genders; but your attacking Mr. Cosby helps you embark on just becoming click bait.”

You know you’re in trouble when they pull out the click-bait insult.

White Claw summer. Cheese challenge. Baby Yoda. Whether you participated, lurked or were blissfully checked out, the internet was full of distractions in 2019.

Dec. 19, 2019

Cosby and Murphy’s paths had crossed back in the day, you see.

In his 1987 movie “Eddie Murphy Raw,” Murphy had riffed about getting a call from Cosby, one of his idols at the time, only to have the elder comic rip on him him for using filthy language onstage.


Murphy was joined on the “SNL” stage by Chappelle, Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan and Kenan Thompson, with Chappelle joking at one point that the audience was now looking at “half of Netflix’s budget.”

A spokesman for Murphy did not respond immediately to a request for comment.