In the 1980s, I enjoyed watching Saturday Night Live. It was exciting to watch so many great comics on the show. My interests in the NBC series has dropped to a far lower level today, but I do recall Eddie Murphy on SNL and remember his great comedy. It was nice that he was not allowed to use foul language repeatedly, such as the f*** word over and over again, as much as I have seen otherwise. I have to say the same thing about Dana Carvey whose standup routines are full of the f*** word, over and over again. One time using the word, oh, well. But repeatedly?
In Murphy’s interview on CBS This Morning (March 15, 2021), he discusses his sequel to Coming Back to America. The interview is a nice discussion of the making of the new film. For instance, Eddie Murphy describes the audition his daughter had for a role in the movie.
When he gets to the part about how the same white person used in the current movie is played by the same person who appeared in the 1988 version, he mentions something which was a shocker, being that this is the 21st Century. Murphy tells how the white character is in the film because “the studio insisted that one white person be present in the film.” What?
The interviewee, Gayle King, is just as shocked. She brings up the issue about all the times there were so many all-white casts in movies. In light of this, Ms. King finds, as many viewers might, that it is not consistent to insist there not be an all-black cast when there were always so many all-white casts.
For example (my example, not one provided by CBS This Morning), a PBS documentary, Betty White: First Lady of Television (now on Netflix), directs our attention to The Betty White Show (1954) in which she introduced, as a regular on her show, a young black tap dancer named Arthur Duncan. (See also story about Arthur Duncan thanking Betty White). Mr. Duncan later appeared as a regular on The Lawrence Welk Show for many years.
In trying to be positive by acknowledging what black people have experienced, I acknowledge that they have suffered a great deal and suffer, even today, judging by Murphy’s experience described on the CBS program. I don’t feel ashamed, though, for acknowledging the plight of those in the LGBTQ community over the years. Sad to say, Eddie Murphy, exposing his beautiful body clad in nothing but a diaper, on SNL, he attracted the attention of many gay men who found it quite appealing. Eddie Murphy snubbed gay people with an animosity which is unacceptable. Perhaps he has apologized? I have no idea. Markie Mark (Wahlberg) reacted in the same manner when he modeled underwear for Calvin Klein and gay men found him quite attractive. In other words, it is ok for men like Murphy and Wahlberg to gloat over women in bikinis or underwear, but not for gay men who gloat over other men. The problem is not the existence of such views on television. The problem is a lack of confidence in oneself. I only hope these guys have grown up in this sense.
Many of us in the gay community are forgiving of such travesties, but some are not as forgiving. I am one who is forgiving. I must admit that Mr. Murphy was attractive, but his appearances on SNL never drove me to write letters to Murphy expressing delight. I also feel an empathy for Murphy and any experiences many others may have when dealing with management and studios which dictate that one white person be included in a movie with black characters and there be no “all-black cast.”
Following Murphy’s interview on CBS, I listened to a Rachael Ray Show interview on CBS channel 12 in Binghamton (WBNG). Ms. Ray interviewed Whoopi Goldberg. In addressing the societal problems in dealing with this pandemic, Ms. Goldberg said, “we need to all get on the same page.” Right on! It is called COEXIST. Add to this, Aretha Franklin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T.