Eddie Murphy Calls Past Homophobic Jokes “Cringey”

In his debut stand-up special from the ‘80s, comedian Eddie Murphy joked about HIV/AIDS, used a gay slur multiple times, and contended he was “afraid of gay people.” Now, he says he “cringes” at his old homophobic stand-up material.

In an interview with CBS’s Sunday Morning, the 58-year-old comedian admitted that he wouldn’t make the same jokes he did in his past because of “the context of the times.”

“Some of it I cringe when I watch it,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I said that.’”

However, he didn’t apologize for the jokes; when interviewer Tracy Smith asked if he still found the jokes funny, he said he still “appreciates” them.

“I’ve seen stuff that I’ll go like, ‘Oh that’s… ooh yeah,’” he said. “You’ll get a joke that’s cringey. But that’s not to say that I don’t appreciate it. I still appreciate it. And I’m looking at it within the context of the times, you know.”

This is not the first time Murphy has expressed some kind of regret towards his past material. In September, he told the Independent that the jokes were “ignorant.”