In an interview Eddie Murphy spoke on the sensitivity of the current time affecting his art as a comedian. His preach was very clear and nicely cut, nipping any questions concerning whether he’ll be adjusting his style of acting. The answer is no!
Eddie Murphy has a history of classics and is known by ranges of generations for all types of comedic roles and many times dually. From 1980 to currently he’s maintained his popularity and there’s no signs of his work slowing down. Murphy’s name is in award talk for his recent Netflix hit Dolemite Is My Name where he portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore in the R rated movie working alongside other chuckle-snatchers like T.I, Snoop Dog, Chris Rock, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson and others. Failing to disappoint or disappear, Eddie Murphy just ( as in December 21st just) made a comeback to the show Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years and has reprises in very funny films, (Beverly Hills Cops and Coming to America) on the way in 2020.
In a celebrating conversation with Deadline about his collaborations with producer John Davis’ he answered a question about the challenges that come with being a comedian with a certain sense of humor during a time of hypersensitivity and social media outrage. Here’s a piece of the convo:
Deadline: “I watched clips of these movies you’ve made together. Norbit, just as funny as when I first saw it. But I watched Eddie play an Asian man, and thought, could he do that now? And he plays this giant of a woman. You think, would he be called out for fat shaming. You guys make comedies and Eddie you are getting back on the stand-up stage. Your job is to make us laugh. How big a challenge is it to do comedy when you are tiptoeing through a moment where everybody is so easily offended and seem so excited to share their outrage on social media?”
“I think if you watch Dolemite, it’s pretty clear that I’m not tiptoeing around anything. I’m doing what I’ve always done and I don’t even think about the time period we’re in, and how thin people’s skins have gotten or anything like that. I’m the same guy I’ve always been, and I’m just always going to be that guy, always doing just what I do. I won’t think, is someone going to get offended by me doing an Asian character? I just did the new Coming to America movie, and I did an old Jewish man. I wasn’t like, will Jewish people be offended? No. I’ve done it before and it’s funny. I tend to have only constructive thoughts when I try to do something creative. How do I make it the best that it can be? How can we have the most fun doing it? That’s as far as my thought process goes. Not who might be offended and who’ll get bent out of shape. Because at the core of what I’m doing, I’m not trying to malicious, so I think it’s not going to come off that way.“
Tough skin comes hand in hand with the comedy business and Murphy’s been dishing it out for over 20 years. I’m sure he’s gotten used to critiques claiming offense somewhere along the way and maybe even the whole way. But apparently social media outrage and hypersensitivity didn’t affect Dolemite too much considering it’s number of views at 40 million in the first 2 weeks of it’s release.
Murphys comedic style is pretty versatile, he’ll play an exaggeratedly larger bodied Asian women in one movie ( Normit ) and then play the role of goofy donkey (Shrek) for more family-friendly films.
Now that the topic is on the table we’ll be a little more observant of his comedic style which we can catch on NBC’s show Saturday Night Live and then in the reboots Coming To America and Beverly Hills Cop exclusively on streaming network, Netflix.