It's safe to assume that Bill Cosby is not happy with Eddie Murphy from behind the bars of his prison cell. Following a burn Murphy threw Cosby's way during his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, a spokesperson for Cosby fired back.
On SNL, Murphy compared his current situation to Cosby's, who is serving three to 10 years in prison after he was found guilty in April 2018 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004.
"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, who just welcomed his tenth child, added, impersonating Cosby's Cliff Huxtable, the Cosby Show sitcom character who was often referred to as America's Dad.
On Sunday, just hours after Murphy's wisecrack on live TV, 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.
Wyatt added that Murphy's jokes were "disparaging" and said, "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."
The 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 clickbait," 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."
The statement elicited many responses on social media on Sunday and Monday, with comedian Loni Love leading the charge, saying that Murphy's "random dig" at Cosby was actually a "callback" to Cosby calling Murphy and telling him that his "filthy comedy was a bad influence on family morality."
30 yrs ago Cosby ("America's Dad”) called Murphy and told him that his filthy comedy was a bad influence on family morality.— Loni Love (@LoniLove) December 23, 2019
It's not a random dig. It's a callback. https://t.co/GcBWIuFbGJ
Well if you seen Eddie Murphy “raw” you’ll know why this hilarious. Short quick back take. Bill Cosby called him and told him his comedy was too raunchy so he called Richard Pryor and asked and Richard told him tell that nigga have a “coke and a smile” 😂😭😂😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/Nelu1rkscz— Geezy (@AgShotEm) December 23, 2019
After seeing why Bill Cosby is trending pic.twitter.com/5Wkd8mokg3— Jaime Lopez (@Lopeezie) December 23, 2019
"Bill Cosby's literally in chains, but Eddie Murphy's a 'slave'? Yeah, okay..." one Twitter user wrote.
"Eddie Murphy is a f—ing legend and he won't be remembered as spending his last years in jail for drugging and raping women because he's a creepy old ass man, naw Bill Cosby that’s you bruh so f— you," another Twitter user wrote.
Others celebrated Murphy's joke all the more after seeing Cosby's statement.
"The nail in the coffin patience of petty that is Eddie's Cosby joke is what every comic, person, being on earth wants when they win a beef that has been going on for over 30 years. Checkmate, my guy!!!" wrote Disjointed star Chris Redd.