Murphy took a swipe at Cosby, who’s serving three to 10 years in prison after being found guilty in April 2018 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004.
“But if you would have told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring, stay-at-home … house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail,” Murphy said to laughter, “even I would have took that bet.”
“Who is America’s Dad now?” Murphy joked, in reference to Cosby’s criticism of him as he impersonated Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable, the sitcom character who was once often referred to as America’s Dad.
In response to the jibe, Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt released a statement on Sunday, saying it was Cosby who “broke color barriers in the Entertainment Industry” so that Murphy and other comedians like Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart could perform.
Murphy’s jokes were “disparaging,” the statement said, adding, “One would think that Mr. Murphy was given his freedom to leave the plantation, so that he could make his own decisions; but he decided to sell himself back to being a Hollywood Slave.”
Wyatt also accused Murphy of perpetuating racial stereotypes by saying he was “cooning” and comparing him to Stepin Fetchit, the stage name of actor Lincoln Perry, who embodied racist cliches.
“Remember, Mr. Murphy, that Bill Cosby became legendary because he used comedy to humanize all races, religions, and genders; but your attacking Mr. Cosby helps you embark on just becoming clickbait,” Wyatt’s statement said.
“Hopefully, you will be amenable to having a meeting of the minds conversation,” the statement said, “in order to discuss how we can use our collective platforms to enhance Black people rather than bringing all of us down together.”