Why Eddie Murphy Passed On Bill Cosby Skit At 'SNL 40': 'You're Hurting Him'

Entertainment | Camille Travis | 10/15/2015 | 10:45 AM EDT

(Photo: Noel Vasquez/GC Images)

Murphy said he didn't want to hurt Cosby or his accusers

Eddie Murphy won't kick a man when he's down, especially fellow comedian Bill Cosby. While speaking with The Washington Post about his appearance on "Saturday Night Live's" 40th anniversary special, the 54-year-old funnyman revealed why he passed on a skit poking fun at Cosby's sexual assault scandal.


"I totally understood," Murphy said. "It was the biggest thing in the news at the time. I can see why they thought it would be funny, and the sketch that Norm [Macdonald] wrote was hysterical."


Murphy, who often portrayed Cosby during his days on "Saturday Night Live," was supposed to take on the role during a "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketch in February, but turned it down. Kenan Thompson eventually stepped in as Cosby. 




Due to the severity of the allegations, Murphy said he just couldn't bring himself to deliver the jokes.


"It's horrible. There's nothing funny about it," he continued. "If you get up there and you crack jokes about him, you're just hurting people. You're hurting him. You're hurting his accusers. I was like, 'Hey, I'm coming back to 'SNL' for the anniversary, I'm not turning my moment on the show into this other thing.'"


Cosby later acknowledged Murphy's decision to pass on the skit, saying he was "appreciative" and applauding him for his actions.


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