Almost a year (and an entire award season) has passed since Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards, but the infamous moment still looms large in Hollywood. Smith did not attend the Golden Globes after missing out on a nomination for his performance in “Emancipation,” but he still ended up being the butt of a joke during one of the night’s biggest acceptance speeches.
Eddie Murphy was the recipient of this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lifetime achievement award that has previously gone to the likes of Steven Spielberg and Meryl Streep. The comedy legend largely played his speech straight, remaining composed and professional while reflecting on his massively successful career.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, so I could stand up here and keep thanking people until they play the piano,” Murphy said at the end of his acceptance speech. “But I’m gonna wrap it up and say something to all the up-and-coming dreamers and artists that are 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. There’s a blueprint, and I followed it [for] my whole career.”
Many of the up-and-coming comedians in the room were almost certainly listening intently when Murphy began to lay out his hard-earned advice.
“It’s very simple. You just do these three things,” Murphy continued. “Pay your taxes. Mind your business. And keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”
The room erupted in laughter and applause as he finished the joke, though the NBC broadcast was able to smoothly cut away from the profanity.
Many fans will inevitably wonder about Smith’s reaction to the quip, considering that the entire incident with Chris Rock began with Smith being offended by a joke. While speaking to the press after accepting the award, Murphy was asked if he had spoken with either Rock or Smith about the slap.
“No I haven’t,” he said. “But I love both of them.
Additional reporting by Brian Welk.