Eddie Murphy didn’t pull punches while accepting the Cecil B. deMille Award at Wednesday’s 2023 Golden Globes.
Instead, he joked about “the slap” – yes, that infamous moment that took place at the 2022 Oscars – and taxes, while bequeathing advice to young Hollywood stars and hopefuls.
“To all the new up-and-coming dreamers and artists in the room tonight, I want to let you know that there is a definitive blueprint that you can follow to achieve success, prosperity, longevity and peace of mind,” Murphy said.
🎉 The biggest round of applause for Eddie Murphy, this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient! Your decades of unbeatable comedy and incredible performances deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated! 🎉 #GoldenGlobes pic.twitter.com/IWiU6LEmmf
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 11, 2023
Three actors are key, according to Murphy: “Pay your taxes, mind your business and keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out of your f…ing mouth,” he quipped, pointing to the incident between Smith and comedian Chris Rock.
While Murphy made the joke, he hasn’t actually spoken to Smith or Rock about their infamous interaction last year, he revealed in the press room following his acceptance of the award (“No, I haven’t, but I love both of them,” he said).
Murphy received the Cecil B. deMille Award for his career in entertainment, which has stretched across five decades. The award, granted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, honours “a talented individual for their outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”.
Tracy Morgan and Jamie Lee Curtis presented the actor and comedian with the award. Murphy is the “reason I started doing comedy”, Morgan said, pointing to Murphy’s stand-up comedy specials as inspiration and his time on Saturday Night Live.
“You are one of the most talented, funniest and charismatic artists working today,” Curtis said, taking the stage post-montage. Curtis added she’d known that since 1983 when the two worked together on Trading Places. “I’ve been in show business for 46 years … and I’ve been in the movie business for 41 years.
So this has been a long time in the making,” Murphy said before thanking his family and several others including his agent. Murphy has been nominated for a Golden Globe six times before, winning once, for his performance in 2006’s Dreamgirls.
His most recent nomination was for best actor in a comedy or musical for 2019’s Dolemite is My Name. The initial announcement that Murphy would be honoured came in December; previous honourees for the Cecil B. DeMille Award include Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Meryl Streep.