Eddie Murphy has encountered several run-ins with the gay community resulting in headline-making scandals and a near-cancellation from Hollywood.
Actor and comedian Eddie Murphy have confronted various scandals throughout his career. From creating controversial comedy content to his scandalous dating history, the icon has kept audiences entertained for decades, albeit at the expense of certain individuals or groups.
The majority of his scandals have centered around the gay community. Topping this list is Eddie murphy’s comedic content during his early career, which had many references to “faggots” and gave rise to several Eddie Murphy memes and gifs.
Years later, Murphy has found himself in a new world, where his previous content shading the gay people could hardly be considered funny.
Notwithstanding, one could hardly reach into the star’s history or success story without touching on his squabble with the LGBTQ community.
With so many references, many find themselves wondering if Eddie Murphy is gay or somehow has a phobia for homosexuals. Let’s dig into his many clashes with the gay community to find out more.
Is Eddie Murphy Gay?
Going by his relationship history which comprises several high-profile women, one can safely say Eddie Murphy is not gay. However, he has been involved in too many gay scandals, leading many to label him as homophobic.
But the actor and comedian have watered down those assertions. He insists he was less informed and ignorant at the time of making his homophobic jokes and derogatory remarks about AIDS.
Despite his later clarifications, Murphy has found himself in major headlines in recent times owing to those past slurs. Aside from his homophobic contents, the icon also became entangled in a compromising situation involving a transvestite sex worker.
This invariably raises questions about his sexual preferences and stance on gay people in a more enlightened generation.
Eddie Murphy’s Mix-Up With A Sex Worker
In 1997, Eddie Murphy experienced one of his biggest controversies yet that almost spelled doom for his career. The “Coming To America” star reportedly picked up a transvestite prostitute from a homosexual prostitution spot in West Hollywood.
According to reports, officers flagged him down at about 4:45 a.m during a traffic stop and noticed his companion. They discovered the sex worker, born male but identifying as female was wanted on an outstanding prostitution warrant.
Investigations showed that no illegal activity had occurred on Murphy’s end at the time of the traffic stop. Hence, they let him go without charges but nabbed the sex worker.
Eddie Murphy later claimed he never intended to indulge the prostitute’s services, but was simply giving her a ride home. But the damage done to his reputation was almost irreversible.
Thankfully, he successfully weaved his way through the resulting public relations problem, eventually reclaiming his Hollywood glory days.
Eddie Murphy’s Early Comedic Contents About Gay People
Before his sex worker scandal, Eddie Murphy already found himself nose-deep in his tussles with the gay community. This initial hit resulted from his earlier comedy materials from the eighties comprising derogatory remarks against gay people.
These homophobic contents led to his being labeled as problematic for the homosexual community. Two of his greatest comedy touchstones “Delirious” and “Raw” are especially laden with such anti-gay ridicule, signifying the flaws of Murphy’s early stand-up days.
Comments about “faggots” staring at his ass and flat-out ridicule of known homosexuals flooded “Delirious,” his 1983 hit. He also made insensitive jokes about the AIDS crisis which plagued gay men at the time.
His homophobic slurs led to a public onslaught against him, especially from the gay people. He unrepentantly addressed this backlash in “Raw,” making the highly-controversial comment, “there’s nothing like a nation of fags looking for you.”
He went on to justify his ridicule of homosexuals, saying he did so because they were “homosexuals.” In some of his content, Murphy admitted to being scared of gay men and having scary dreams about them.
The Call For Murphy’s Cancellation
Then came a time when the world could not keep tolerating Murphy’s derogatory materials targeting the LGBTQ community. In 1996, several gay activists sprang up in defense of homosexuals, even demanding his cancellation from his top gigs.
Tom Ammiano, who was a San Francisco Supervisor at the time, championed this movement, first demanding his appearance on “Late Show With David Letterman” be canceled.
Murphy would later apologize for his “ignorant” contents, saying he regretted the pain it must have caused certain groups. His apology read in part:
“Just like the rest of the world, I am more educated about AIDS in 1996 than I was in 1981. I think it is unfair to take the words of a misinformed 21-year-old and apply them to an informed 35-year- old man.”
Murphy’s apology over damages he caused fifteen years back seemed to pacify the gay community. Ammiano acknowledged that his statement not only served as an apology but also as a light to other misinformed individuals. He also deemed it a reflection of growth and the power of education.
Eddie Murphy Quit Stand-Up Comedy As A Result
At the peak of Eddie Murphy’s stand-up career, the legendary comedian suddenly gave up the art. He also quit his position as host of “Saturday Night Live.”
Despite the media backlash pervading him at the time over his misguided homophobic jokes, many missed the leather-clad, humor-wielding entertainment genius.
He made his comeback to “SNL” during the show’s 40th anniversary and hinted at a possible return to stand-up comedy.
Addressing why he quit in the first place, Eddie Murphy noted that the incessant backlash he received due to his scandalous materials ridiculing gay people and the contraction of AIDS made him stop doing comedy.
Additionally, the star revealed that stand-up comedy stopped being fun. Notwithstanding, he regretted his decision to give up his first passion and promised never to quit once he embraced it again.
Eddie Murphy Considers His Past Jokes Cringe-Worthy
In a 2019 interview some 36 years after releasing his debut comedy special, “Delirious,” Eddie Murphy admitted his previous jokes about gay people make him cringe. He admittedly could hardly believe he said some of those cringe-worthy slurs.
However, the “Party All The Time” crooner clarified he had no regret about the paths he took as they were in line with the context of the times, and contributed to his fame.
Thankfully, he has moved past his ignorant days and now focuses on growing his acting career. He has also built a family and has ten children from different women.
He shares five of his kids, Bria, Myles, Shayne, Zola, and Bella with ex-wife, Nicole Murphy neé Mitchell. The former couple divorced in 2006, after twelve years together.
Murphy moved on to other women and had more kids, before finally settling down with long-time partner Paige Butcher.
He shares his two youngest kids, Izzy and Max, with Butcher, whom he has dated since 2012. They seem to be more in love than ever, especially since their 2016 engagement.
His relationship with the Australian model further proves Eddie Murphy has become more enlightened and accommodating of diversified individuals irrespective of their race, gender, or sexual orientation.