Eddie Murphy was asked to perform a parody of Bill Cosby in Saturday Night Live’s (SNL) 40th Anniversary special earlier this year, however, he declined the invitation. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of SNL, many fans were surprised when Eddie Murphy gave a “thank you” speech instead of a parody of Bill Cosby, as expected.
In an interview, the famous actor and comedian told the Washington Post that a parody of the former star of The Cosby Show would have been disrespectful not only to Cosby, but also to his alleged victims.
“I totally understood (why they wanted me to do it). It was the biggest thing in the news at the time. I can see why they thought it would be funny, and the sketch that Norm (Macdonald) wrote was hysterical…. There’s nothing funny about it. If you get up there and you crack jokes about him, you’re just hurting people. You’re hurting him. You’re hurting his accusers. I was like, ‘Hey, I’m coming back to SNL for the anniversary, I’m not turning my moment on the show into this other thing.'”
Eddie Murphy also explained that he believed that the celebration of 40 years of Saturday Night Live should not be tainted by a parody when the subject of Bill Cosby was on everyone’s lips.
It should be noted that the protagonist of Dr. Dolittle also highlighted that he “totally understood” why SNL wanted him to do the parody, given his hilarious SNL reenactments of Cosby in the past. However, this did not change his mind.
Bill Cosby has recently been questioned about alleged sexual abuse after being accused by almost 50 women. Cosby has denied the allegations and has never been charged. However, on October 9, the 78-year-old had to answer questions authorized by a judge under oath. The allegations made by these women follows a pattern whereby the actor reportedly drugged women to have sex with them.
In 2006, Cosby settled a civil suit with an alleged victim, Andrea Constad, who accused him of sexual assault. The case was closed by a secret agreement between the parties. She claimed in her filing that 13 more victims were ready to come forward. At that time, Cosby admitted to purchasing a powerful barbiturate called Quaalude (a sedative that produces effects similar to that of anesthesia) in order to administer it to women he wanted to have sex with.
According to Yahoo! News, a defamation lawsuit brought against Bill Cosby by three women who say he sexually abused them decades ago can now move forward. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni rejected Cosby’s bid to dismiss the case before it ever goes to a jury.
Cosby’s lawyers requested that the case be thrown out, arguing that the remarks were personal opinions protected by the First Amendment and legal declarations made in his defense. However, in his ruling, Mastroianni dismissed Cosby’s argument.
“The court recognizes that some jurisdictions do apply a version of the conditional self-defense privilege, which allows individuals, in certain circumstances, to publish defamatory responsive statements necessary to defend their reputation. However… such a privilege does not permit a defendant to knowingly publish false statements of fact,” an excerpt from the judge’s 38-page ruling read.
[Image via Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment]