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Eddie Murphy 'Cringes' at His Old, Homophobic Comedy

American comedian Eddie Murphy performs onstage at Madison Square Garden during his 'Raw Tour,' New York, New York, October 13, 1987. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

The jokes had caused tension between Tituss Burgess and Andy Cohen recently. 

Eddie Murphy has expressed regret over homophobic jokes he made in his early standup career -- especially the 1987 standup classic Raw, which he says now makes him cringe.

In a recent interview with The New York Times while promoting his upcoming Netflix film, Dolemite is My Name, the comedian called his past material on AIDS and the LGBTQ+ community "ignorant."

"I was a young guy processing a broken heart, you know, kind of an a-hole," Murphy said of his controversial jokes, before confessing that Raw is "a bit much, my goodness."

His early stand-up often delved into racist, sexist, or homophobic tropes. In one joke, he talked about fear of contracting AIDS from kissing gay men.

Those jokes join others like ones from Kevin Hart, and were likely what caused onscreen tension between Tituss Burgess, who appears in Dolemite Is My Name, and Andy Cohen.

During an interview with Andy Cohen, Burgess was asked if Murphy has ever been homophobic to him on set.

"I was just wondering if you got close at all, because he was very problematic for the gays at one point," Cohen said.

"We had a wonderful time," Burgess responded. "We talked about Dreamgirls. He should've won the Oscar, I believe. Any troubles he may have had with gay people, I guess, are gone because he loved me."

Murphy has previously addressed those statements in 1996 after being picketed."I deeply regret any pain all this has caused," he said. "Just like the rest of the world, I am more educated about AIDS in 1996 than I was in 1981. I think it is unfair to take the words of a misinformed 21-year-old and apply them to an informed 35-year-old man. I know how serious an issue AIDS is the world over. I know that AIDS isn't funny. It's 1996 and I'm a lot smarter about AIDS now."

People took to Twitter to applaud Murphy's apology.

"I wish the people who reject Eddie Murphy's apology or have an issue with his growth as a person would just be real," said Atlantic writer Jemele Hill. "You just wish you could dehumanize and laugh at the LGBTQ community without retribution or criticism. If you're still staying the same shit you did at 25, yikes."

"Eddie Murphy not defending the slurs in Raw means the rest of you have literally no excuse at this point," another user noted.

Dolemite Is My Name which comes out on October 4, tells the story of performer Rudy Ray Moore, who assumed the role of an iconic pimp named Dolemite during the 1970s.


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