Kinder, gentler Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy is unafraid of cancel culture, but he would like to hit delete on some his older material, he tells The New York Times in a sprawling interview. 

Murphy, 58, admitted in the profile that his 1987 standup special Raw was tough to watch now: “I was a young guy processing a broken heart, you know, kind of an a–hole.”

Murphy’s early work featured offensive racial, gender and homosexual stereotypes, and included jokes that mocked the AIDS epidemic. He apologized for his AIDS jokes in 1996, saying: “I deeply regret any pain all this has caused. 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.”

He can next be seen in Dolemite Is My Name, on Netflix, out October 4th. He’s proud of his new work.

“I didn’t want to just pop back up,” he said. “I wanted a funny movie to remind them that they liked me. This movie turned out so strong that I figured this is a great way to come back.”

Murphy can also be seen on SNL when he hosts October 25th…. And, much to fans’ delight, he’s working on a sequel to the 1988 megahit Coming to America