A spokesman for Bill Cosby has fired back at Eddie Murphy after the comedian made jokes at Cosby’s expense during his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live.
Murphy compared his current situation to Cosby’s, who’s serving three to 10 years in prison after being found guilty in April 2018 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004. Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania appeals court upheld the conviction.
“But 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,” Murphy said to laughter, “even I would have took that bet.”
“Who is America’s Dad now?” Murphy added, impersonating Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable, the sitcom character who was once often referred to as America’s Dad.
In a statement released Sunday, Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt criticized Murphy for the jokes, saying it was Cosby who “broke color barriers in the Entertainment Industry” so that Murphy and other comedians like Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart could perform.
Murphy’s jokes were “disparaging,” the statement said, adding, “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’s statement then appeared to accuse Murphy of perpetuating racial stereotypes by saying he was “cooning” and comparing him to Stepin Fetchit, the stage name of actor Lincoln Perry, who embodied racist cliches.
“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,” Wyatt’s statement said.
“Hopefully, you will be amenable to having a meeting of the minds conversation,” the statement said, “in order to discuss how we can use our collective platforms to enhance Black people rather than bringing all of us down together.”
CNN has reached out to Murphy’s representatives for comment but has not heard back.
CNN’s Amir Vera, Elizabeth Joseph, Alec Snyder and Steve Forrest contributed to this report.