"Hey, welcome to the club."
That's how Eddie Murphy, 58, responded to the New York Times while discussing controversies over other comics' potentially offensive past material in a profile pegged to his Netflix film, "Dolemite is My Name."
"I went through all that stuff, so this is not scary," he said, adding that he's faced backlash and public protests for joking about AIDS, among other things. Today, Eddie says he sees that material as having been "ignorant."
Earlier in the piece, he explained that as popular as his stand-up special "Raw" was when it came out in 1987, he finds it nothing short of cringe-inducing today.
"I was a young guy processing a broken heart, you know, kind of an a–hole," he said of the jokes in "Raw," before feigning a disapproving character voice to acknowledge that some of it was really "a bit much."
Like Kevin Hart, Eddie was widely criticized for playing on homosexual stereotypes for the sake of humor. And although in Kevin's case the offensive comments surfaced on social media while Eddie made his from the stage, the older comic has since come to see he was in the wrong.
"I deeply regret any pain all this has caused," he said in a statement back in 1996 after being picketed (via Page Six). "Just like the rest of the world, I am more educated about AIDS in 1996 than I was in 1981. I think it is unfair to take the words of a misinformed 21-year-old and apply them to an informed 35-year-old man. I know how serious an issue AIDS is the world over. I know that AIDS isn't funny. It's 1996 and I'm a lot smarter about AIDS now."
The statement bears a lot of similarity to the one Kevin issued last year after his initial refusal to apologize (he said he didn't need to because he had apologized previously).
"I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all," he said in a video message. "With that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I'm almost 40 years old and I'm in love with the man that I am becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love…"
Eddie, meanwhile, told the Times that while he's grown and changed, he's ultimately "still Eddie."
"The way I look at things and paint pictures with words, I'm still that guy," he said. "I'm still going to be what I was. And then some."
"Dolemite Is My Name" hits Netflix Oct. 4.