*Bill Cosby hasn’t always seen eye to eye with Eddie Murphy, but the embattled comedian took a moment to express his appreciation after Murphy refused to portray him on last week’s “Saturday Night Live” 40th anniversary special.
“I am very appreciative of Eddie, and I applaud his actions,” Cosby said through a spokesperson, NBC News reported.
According to reports, Murphy was supposed to play Cosby during an “Celebrity Jeopardy!” parody that also featured Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Kate McKinnon and Norm Macdonald, who co-wrote the skit.
In a series of tweets, Mcdonald detailed Murphy’s reason for not participating in the “Celebrity Jeopardy!” skit. Although he considered the idea of portraying Cosby at first, McDonald revealed that saying that Murphy changed his mind the day before the “SNL” special, saying he felt “uncomfortable.”
“He knew the laughs would bring the house down,” Macdonald tweeted, as he noted that Murphy ultimately decided “the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down.”
Murphy’s rejection of the skit resulted in current “SNL” cast member Kenan Thompson filling in to portray Cosby in the skit. The refusal is especially notable, considering that Cosby criticized Murphy back in the day for his use of profanity in the 1987 comedy concert film “Raw.” In 2010, Cosby later denied the beef, saying that he was criticizing Murphy for his treatment of a heckler.
Cosby’s remarks to Murphy are the latest in a string of developments involving the entertainer, who is facing a severe backlash after roughly 30 women came forward with sexual assault and drugging accusations spanning over the last four decades.
The situation has taken its toll professionally on Cosby, with NBC putting the brakes on a comedy he was set to star in as well as Netflix postponing a comedy special featuring him that was scheduled to premiere last year over the Thanksgiving holiday.
In addition, Cosby’s touring engagements for his standup comedy show have been met with a series of cancellations and ticket refunds.