Over the weekend, SNL host Eddie Murphy returned to the long-running sketch comedy series after 35 years. In doing so, he stormed 30 Rockefeller Plaza with some beloved classic characters, including Buckwheat and Gumby, in tow, but not everyone was a fan of the evening’s events. The main detractor (to no one’s surprise in retrospect) would be Bill Cosby, who was the subject of a Murphy monologue joke that asked, “Who is America’s dad now?'”
The joke, of course, directly referred to Cosby being in jail while Murphy has found himself to be a “boring, stay-at-home house dad,” and Cosby spokesperson Andrew Wyatt has fired back. In a statement posted to Instagram, Wyatt labeled the joke as “disparaging” and declared that Cosby had “broke[n] color barriers in the Entertainment Industry so that Blacks like Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappell, Kevin Hart and et al., could have an opportunity to showcase their talents for many generations to come.”
The statement went on to label Murphy as a “Hollywood Slave” and suggested that jokes like this will be “bringing all of us down together.” Here’s more from the statement:
“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. 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 … Hopefully, you will be amenable to having a meeting of the minds conversation in order to discuss how we can use our collective platforms to enhance Black people rather than bringing all of us down together.”
This would be the second time in the past month that Cosby’s team has lashed out on his behalf. The first instance, a series of hashtag-heavy tweets, landed on Thanksgiving and railed against “fake news” and mainstream press outlets while calling Cosby “The Educator & The Political Prisoner.” Cosby is, of course, currently serving a 3-10 year prison sentence following his sexual assault conviction. During his only interview since entering prison, he declared that he’ll never express remorse in the event that he comes up for parole.
Read the full statement from Cosby representative Andrew Wyatt below.