The “woke” have come for Eddie Murphy. The megastar — one of the greatest comedians of all time — is returning to standup and appears to be getting ahead of the woke mob by expressing regret for his most famous comedy routines, “Raw” and “Delirious.”
Murphy, in an interview with The New York Times, said he wasn’t worried about his old comedy routines being scrutinized under today’s standards, because he had been criticized back when they were filmed. From the Times:
“I went through all that stuff, so this is not scary,” he said about controversies over jokes. He pointed that he had been picketed and had also apologized for material about AIDS that he now calls “ignorant” before adding, on the subject of anxiety by comics today: “All this stuff they are talking about: ‘Hey, welcome to the club.’”
Murphy told the Times that the past criticism was the reason he stopped doing stand-up decades ago, and said he doesn’t want to give it up this time.
Murphy also told the outlet that he cringes when he watches “Raw” now because it reminds him of the breakup he was dealing with at the time.
“I was a young guy processing a broken heart, you know, kind of an asshole,” he told the outlet.
Perhaps Murphy’s regret will be enough to save him from the woke mob, which recently went after comedian Shane Gillis for old jokes. Gillis was set to join the “Saturday Night Live” cast before the mob reacted to his past jokes using stereotypical Asian voices and homophobic slurs. Gillis apologized for comedy bits that sometimes “misses the mark” and apologized to “anyone who’s actually offended.” Gillis was fired from SNL before ever making it on air.
Last year, comedian Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars after the woke mob came for him. Jokes from nearly a decade ago about homosexuality were amplified by the outrage mob, leading to a call for him to publicly apologize. At first Hart refused to apologize, but then gave several interviews where he did apologize. In 2019, he addressed the issue in an interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
“I don’t joke in the politics, I don’t joke in anything that has to do with the slander of others or other communities — I don’t do anything divisive. That’s my biggest thing,” Hart said. “This past year was one that got a little weird. I was like, I really dedicated myself to bringing people together. I thought that was my goal. That’s my priority. I damn sure thought that was what I was doing, on a global scale. Everybody — all races, shapes, sizes, whoever you are, whatever you are — you can come to a Kevin Hart show and have a good time. So when it came out that I was a person that was divisive, that was tough.”
Other comedians, such as Jerry Seinfeld, now refuse to do stand-up routines at college campuses because they know the outrage mob will descend upon them.