Eddie Murphy has admitted that he now “cringes” at some of his older stand-up material, which repeatedly took aim at gay people.
The comedy icon, who returned to Saturday Night Live earlier this month, makes a number of slurs in 1983’s ‘Delirious’ – his first ever stand-up special.
In one routine, Murphy jokes: “I have nightmares about gay people… I kid the homosexuals a lot ‘cause they’re homosexuals.’”
Reflecting on the jokes in a new interview with CBS, Murphy said: “Some of it I cringe when I watch it. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I said that’”
After clips of his offensive jokes were shown, Murphy replied: “I’ve seen stuff that I’ll go, like, oh, that’s, ooh, yeah, you’ll get a joke that’s cringey.”
But he stopped short of entirely apologising for the gags, and said that they should be viewed within the context of the day.
“That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate it. I still appreciate it,” he said.
“And I’m looking at it within the context of the times, you know. And I’m going, okay, I’m a kid, saying that.”
His comments come days after Kevin Hart addressed how he stepped down from hosting the 2019 Oscars after he used homophobic language in a series of old tweets.
After several attempts to court sympathy with public television appearances, Hart said he “just couldn’t do it anymore” when he made an appearance on Good Morning America.
“I got on there and I just gave a very direct answer to the question I knew I was going to get,” the comedian said.
“I missed an opportunity to say simply that I don’t condone any type of violence in any way, shape or form to anyone for being who they are,” he explained.
“I fucked up… Instead I said, ‘I addressed it.’ I said, ‘I apologized.’ I said, ‘I talked about this already.’ I was just immature.”