Eddie Murphy

Why Do People Hate Eddie Murphy?

Eddie Murphy is one of the most popular and successful comedians and actors of the late 20th century. Known for movies like “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Coming to America,” and his R-rated stand-up comedy specials, Murphy has made audiences around the world laugh for over 40 years.

However, despite his fame and accomplishments, Murphy has also drawn criticism and dislike from some people over the course of his long career.

What are some of the main reasons people dislike Eddie Murphy?

One of the top reasons Murphy has critics is that some find his raunchy, profane style of humor to be offensive. Much of Murphy’s stand-up comedy in the 1980s included frequent use of vulgar language and jokes about sex, sexuality, race, and other controversial topics. While many audiences embraced this provocative comedy, others saw it as offensive.

His films have also sometimes been criticized for relying on profanity and crude humor. Movies like “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Raw,” “48 Hrs.,” and even children’s films like “Mulan” and “Shrek” have had language and jokes that some parents consider inappropriate.

Perceived Arrogance and Cockiness

Another reason Eddie Murphy has detractors is that some see him as arrogant or full of himself. At the height of his fame in the 1980s, Murphy was one of the biggest stars in the world. Some critics felt he seemed cocky or egomaniacal during interviews and public appearances.

The fact that Murphy was so young and successful may have contributed to this perception. He joined Saturday Night Live at age 19 and soon became its biggest star. By age 21, he had already released two smash hit comedy albums. His confidence and bravado rubbed some people the wrong way.

Issues in His Personal Life

Eddie Murphy has faced some criticism regarding his personal life choices as well.

In 1997, he was pulled over by police with a transsexual prostitute in his car. While the incident itself was minor, it drew unwanted negative publicity for the star.

In more recent years, he has faced some backlash regarding payments to ex-Spice Girl Melanie Brown following a brief relationship that produced a child. The complicated paternity case put Murphy’s personal life in the tabloids again.

While stars’ personal issues should not necessarily impact perceptions of their professional work, Murpy’s high-profile career has made it difficult for him to avoid some judgment in these areas.

Has Eddie Murphy faced backlash for his films?

While many of Murphy’s movies have been major hits, he has also had some films over the years that flopped with critics and audiences.

One notorious example is 2007’s “Norbit.” The film was criticized for relying on offensive stereotypes for laughs. Murphy played multiple roles, including the titular Norbit, as well as the female lead and an over-the-top villain. Reviews were scathing and it earned Murphy a Razzie nomination.

Other Murphy films that have drawn criticism for quality include “The Adventures of Pluto Nash,” “Holy Man,” “Best Defense,” and “Vampire in Brooklyn.” These flops have contributed to some dislike for the actor among audiences and film critics.

Perceived Decline in Quality of Roles

In Murphy’s early career, he was known for edgy comedies like “48 Hrs.” and “Beverly Hills Cop.” But as he has aged, some critics feel the quality of Murphy’s roles has declined.

He has done more family films, broad comedies, and sequels to past hits. Some dislike that Murphy no longer does the kind of groundbreaking work that made him famous. Movies like “Daddy Day Care,” “Meet Dave,” and “Dr. Dolittle 3” have contributed to this perception of decline.

However, it should be noted that films like “Dreamgirls,” “Bowfinger,” “Life,” and the Netflix biopic “Dolemite Is My Name” have shown Murphy still capable of compelling work. Dislike for his film choices seems tied to his family/comedy roles versus his more acclaimed parts.

What moments magnified dislike for Eddie Murphy?

In 2011, Eddie Murphy was set to host the Oscars for the first time. This gig brought him back to center stage after years away from the spotlight.

However, Murphy dropped out of hosting shortly before the ceremony took place. The official reason was to avoid distraction from the show’s producer Brett Ratner leaving his role due to using an anti-gay slur.

But the timing magnified dislike for Murphy. Many saw it as diva-like behavior to back out so late. They felt he was missing a big opportunity to remind audiences of his talents. This Oscars controversy contributed to perceptions that Murphy was arrogant, difficult, or past his prime.

Winning “Worst Actor” Razzie Award

In 2020, Eddie Murphy “won” the Razzie Award for Worst Actor for his role in “Mr. Church.” While meant to be light-hearted, the Razzies magnify dislike for actors.

What made this award stand out was it came the night before Murphy won his first Emmy. So within 24 hours, Murphy went from “Worst Actor” to an outstanding supporting actor Emmy winner for “Saturday Night Live.”

This rollercoaster highlighted polarized perceptions of Murphy’s abilities. While still capable of greatness, misfires like “Mr. Church” fuel dislike for the star.

Do critics influence dislike for Eddie Murphy?

Eddie Murphy is a polarizing figure for film critics. His movies have run the gamut from glowing reviews to scathing takedowns.

Classics like “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Trading Places,” “Coming to America” and his stand-up films received strong praise. But perceived misfires like “The Adventures of Pluto Nash,” “Meet Dave,” “A Thousand Words,” and “Mr. Church” earned him some of the worst reviews of his career.

This rollercoaster of critical reception contributes to murky perceptions of Murphy. While some see him as a comedy genius, others feel he is past his prime. This divide influences audience opinions as well.

Perceptions from Key Figures

Beyond typical film critics, commentary from comedy influencers has swayed some views of Eddie Murphy.

Famous comedians like Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock are huge admirers of Murphy’s work. But others like Katt Williams have critiqued Murphy for not using his platform well later in his career.

High-profile figures in the entertainment industry voicing criticism or praise impacts public perception. Murphy’s occasional critiques from those in comedy circles filter down to wider audiences.

Generational Gap

There is also somewhat of a generational divide among critics on Eddie Murphy.

Older critics who grew up with classics like “Trading Places” and “Beverly Hills Cop” are more likely to praise Murphy’s talents. But younger reviewers are more familiar with films like “Meet Dave” and “A Thousand Words” that are seen as lesser works.

This age gap among critics translates down to audiences as well. While older audiences may defend Murphy’s greatness, younger viewers are more likely to see shortcomings based on their exposure to Murphy’s filmography.

Eddie Murphy responded to criticism and dislike?

During his 1980s stand-up heyday, Eddie Murphy pushed boundaries of language, sex, and race issues. At the time, he gave little public reflection on controversies his humor caused.

But in recent years, Murphy has shown more willingness to acknowledge early criticisms. In 2018 he expressed regret for some homophobic jokes from his Delirious special.

While not exactly an apology, his reflection shows growth and perspective. This gesture may soften dislike from some who took issue with his early provocative humor.

Comeback Attempts to Change Narratives

Eddie Murphy is well aware his string of family comedies and flops in the 2000s damaged his esteemed reputation.

In the 2010s he made concerted efforts to change this narrative. He returned to host Saturday Night Live, earned his first Emmy for that appearance, and starred in drama “Mr. Church” all attempts to remind audiences of his talents.

Unfortunately “Mr. Church” earned him a Razzie and magnified criticism of his later film choices. But comebacks like Amazon’s “Dolemite Is My Name” have shown Murphy still capable of acclaimed work when choosing the right roles.


In summary, Eddie Murphy is a comedy legend who also garners dislike from some critics and audiences for a variety of factors. His provocative, profane humor has been polarizing. Perceptions of arrogance and cockiness have hurt his image.

Flops and mediocre family films have led some to see Murphy as past his prime. Controversies like his 2011 Oscars withdrawal and 2020 Razzie award focused criticism as well.

However, Murphy remains one of the most successful comedians ever by box office receipts and fans around the world. Classics like “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Coming to America,” “Shrek,” and his stand-up films will be remembered forever.

Recent acclaimed performances in “Dolemite Is My Name” and his return to “Saturday Night Live” show glimpses that Murphy still has greatness left when he wants to tap into it.

As with most giant entertainment figures, audience perceptions tend to be polarized. While fair critique should be welcomed, much of the dislike towards Murphy seems tied to unreachable expectations for him to match his meteoric rise in the 1980s.

Despite ups and downs, he has given the world decades of laughs. Perhaps it is finally time to cut one of comedy’s greats a bit of slack.


Why do some people consider Eddie Murphy’s comedy offensive?

Some people find Murphy’s raunchy, profane stand-up comedy from the 1980s offensive. He frequently used vulgar language and pushed boundaries with jokes about sex, sexuality, race and other controversial topics. His films have also sometimes been criticized for relying too much on crude humor.

What personal life issues have fueled dislike of Murphy?

In 1997, Murphy was pulled over by police with a transsexual prostitute, which drew unwanted attention. More recently, a complicated paternity case with ex-Spice Girl Melanie Brown put his personal decisions back in the tabloids. These incidents contributed to negative perceptions for some.

What recent award focused criticism on Murphy?

In 2020, Murphy won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor for his film “Mr. Church” the night before winning his first Emmy. This rollercoaster highlighted polarized views – he’s still capable of great work but makes poor film choices that fuel criticism as well.

How have younger critics and audiences viewed Eddie Murphy?

There is a generational gap where younger critics and audiences are more familiar with Murphy’s less-acclaimed work over the last 20 years. Older fans embrace his earlier classics while younger viewers are more likely to see shortcomings based on films like “Meet Dave” or “A Thousand Words.”

How has Murphy responded to dislike of his work?

In recent years, Murphy has shown more willingness to reflect on valid critiques. He expressed some regret over offensive early jokes. Comeback attempts like 2018’s “Dolemite Is My Name” aim to remind audiences he still has great performances left to give at his best. He seems cognizant that his choices greatly impact perception.

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