There was a bit of a weird moment on last night’s episode of Watch What Happens Live.
Tituss Burgess and Laverne Cox popped by Bravo’s Andy Cohen-hosted talk show on Sunday night. Everything seemed pretty normal as the host launched into the show’s regular segment where viewers at home send in questions for the guests. One viewer asked Burgess, one of the Emmy-nominated stars of Netflix’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, about working with Eddie Murphy, his co-star in the upcoming Dolemite Is My Name.
Instead of jumping to the next question, Cohen then interjected to ask Burgess if Murphy had 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, referring to Murphy’s past homophobic stand-up material that he has long since addressed and apologized for, per Vanity Fair.
“Oh, I see,” Burgess responded. “He wasn’t problematic for Tituss.”
“People can evolve,” Cox added.
“We had a wonderful time,” Burgess continued. “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.”
Cohen continued the show, but noticed Burgess appear to say something to someone off camera.
“What are you saying, Tituss?” Cohen asked
“Keep going, girl,” Burgess said. “Do your show.”
The Kimmy Schmidt star explained the tense interaction on Instagram the following day, saying that he felt disrespected by Cohen’s line of questioning. He also wondered whether Cohen had confused him for Titus Andromedon, the fictional character he played on TV.
“Sunday was a display of ratchet behavior by a well connected man having blatant disregard for one of his guests,” Burgess said in a now-deleted Instagram comment, per BuzzFeed News. “If only time were taken to know who I am and not assuming that I am the character I play on tv he would know how to conduct a proper interview with at all! I received 4 Emmy nominations for acting! NOT for being myself.”
Tituss Burgess won't take his foot off Andy Cohen's neck pic.twitter.com/mg1V35b3An
— Ida (@poweredbyfufu) July 29, 2019