Comedy icon Eddie Murphy chatted with Cheddar News this week ahead of the premiere of his latest project with Netflix You People.
The film follows an interracial couple, played by Jonah Hill and Lauren London, as they introduce each other to their families. Cultures clash as generational differences weigh on the relationship and societal expectations impact their bond.
Murphy said he got involved with the project because he loved the script and hadn't seen this type of romantic comedy executed since Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, which starred Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy.
"It couldn't be more timely. The racial tension is at a fever pitch in this country and to have a romantic comedy that has all the stuff that romantic comedies have — but there's [also] this race dialogue that's going on and you have conversations that are awkward to have," he told Cheddar News. "It's a really hip romantic comedy that couldn't come at a better time."
Murphy said of his castmates that "everybody was open and everybody was into" shooting, even the uncomfortable scenes. He credited the film's director Kenya Barris and co-writer Jonah Hill with coming up with dialogue that towed the line of sensitivity.
As one of the most iconic comedians to grace a stage, Murphy also gave his opinion on the new age of social media comedy and how he might have navigated if he had the same tools at his disposal during his early joke-telling days.
"It's a whole different industry. You have more opportunity now than you ever had before," he said. "I know there's a scrutiny now. They go over stuff that you say, and people get bent out of shape. But there's more opportunity than there's ever been."
On telling jokes in the present day, Murphy is a comedian through and through and doesn't let public perception stop him from speaking how he feels.
"I never think about cancel culture because I've been gigging for so long. You're [going to] cancel me now? I was getting ready to stop anyway," he told Cheddar News.