The legendary comedian/actor was this year’s recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which recognizes “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment” and is named after its first recipient, director Cecil B. DeMille.
While accepting the award at The Beverly Hilton, Murphy thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as well as his family and colleagues as he reflected on his 46 years in show business.
Toward the end of his speech, the 61-year-old poked fun at Smith’s open palms at the 2022 Rock at the Academy Awards while sharing advice for “new, up-and-coming dreamers and artists that are in the space.”
“I want to tell you that there is a definitive plan that you can follow to achieve success, prosperity, longevity and peace of mind. It is a plan and I have followed it my entire career,” he said.
“It’s very simple, just do these three things: pay your taxes, mind your own business and keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”
Eddie Murphy shares three pieces of advice for those new to the industry:
— Variety (@Variety) 11 January 2023
While Will Smith, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith — whose alopecia Rock made fun of before being physically approached by Smith at the Oscars — have yet to respond, Eddie Murphy later addressed his show-stealing joke.
talking with Additional backstage after the Golden Globes ceremony, Murphy admitted he didn’t expect to hear back Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star, but has nothing but good feelings for both him and Chris Rock.
“I love Will,” he said. “I love Will and I love Chris.”
When asked about the prospect of host Jimmy Kimmel referencing the slap at the 2023 Oscars, he replied: “If I was hosting the Oscars, I would have worked the joke that I made in there on a one way or another. I think you should say something, but you know, you move on.”
Murphy’s joke comes after plenty of follow-up about the Oscars from both Will Smith and Chris Rock. The latter joked during a comedy set in Britain last September Smith beat him to the “best joke I ever told” while in a more serious tone he claimed that the actor “ripped off his mask and showed us he was just as ugly as the rest of us.”
Smith, meanwhile, has been broadcasting many apologies to Rock and tearfully admitted he was “going through something” the night of the smack.
“There are a lot of nuances and complexities to it, but at the end of the day, I just — I lost it, you know? I guess what I would say is, you just never know what somebody’s going through,” he continued The Daily Show with Trevor Noah November last year.
“I went through something that night, you know? Not that it justifies my behavior at all. I’m just saying, you’re asking what I learned—it’s just to be nice to each other, man.”
He added: “It’s hard. And what was most painful for me is that I took my heart and made it hard for other people. It’s like I understood the idea that hurt people hurt people.”