Eddie Murphy Jokes About the Will Smith Oscars Slap as He's Honored at 2023 Golden Globes

Murphy received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards on Tuesday

Eddie Murphy had a punchline about the Will Smith Oscars slap.

Murphy, 61, was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 80th annual Golden Globes ceremony Tuesday night, and at the end of his speech, Murphy surprised the audience with a joke about last year's Academy Awards and the moment when Smith hit Chris Rock onstage over a comment about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

"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 and greatly appreciated," Murphy began his speech, thanking his partner Paige Butcher and his 10 "amazing" children.

He added, "I've been doing this for a long time so I could literally stand up here and keep saying names until they play the piano, but I'm gonna wrap it up and just say something to all the new up-and-coming dreamers and artists that are in the room tonight. I wanna let you know that there is a definitive blueprint that you can follow to achieve success, prosperity, longevity and peace of mind."

Honoree Eddie Murphy accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award onstage at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.
Eddie Murphy. Rich Polk/NBC via Getty

Murphy then shared that blueprint that he has followed his "whole career," saying: "It's very simple, just do these three things: Pay your taxes, mind your business — and keep Will Smith's wife's name out your f---ing mouth!"

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At the Oscars last March, Rock, 57, made a joke about Jada's shaved head. (The actress, 51, has alopecia, and Will explained in a statement days later that the punchline was "too much for me to bear" and he "reacted emotionally.") Before he got onstage and hit Rock, Smith, 54, shouted from his front-row seat: "Keep my wife's name out your f---ing mouth!"

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80th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals
Eddie Murphy and Paige Butcher.

Smith apologized to Rock in a video he released on his social media in July. He further addressed the moment on The Daily Show in November. He also resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was banned from attending its ceremonies for the next 10 years.

In his July video, Smith said, "I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."

He explained at the time that he is "trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself," adding, "I'm human. I made a mistake and I'm trying not to think of myself as a piece of s---."

chris rock and will smith
Chris Rock; Will Smith. Getty (2)

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association — the nonprofit organization that votes for the Golden Globe Awards — announced that Murphy would receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award on Dec. 14. Tracy Morgan and Murphy's Trading Places costar Jamie Lee Curtis presented him with the award during the ceremony on Tuesday night.

Murphy previously earned six Golden Globe nominations, including new star of the year back in 1983 for the film 48 Hrs. His other acting nominations came for the movies Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, The Nutty Professor, Dreamgirls — which earned him his sole Golden Globe win — and Dolemite Is My Name.

"We're honored to present this year's Cecil B. DeMille Award to the iconic and highly esteemed Mr. Eddie Murphy," HFPA President Helen Hoehne said in a press release. "We're thrilled to be celebrating the lasting impact on film and television that his career — in front of and behind the camera — has had through the decades."

Previous recipients of the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which is decided on by the HFPA Board of Directors, include George Clooney, Jane Fonda, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, Harrison Ford, Jodie Foster, Steven Spielberg, Denzel Washington, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks and more.

The 2023 Golden Globe Awards, hosted by comedian Jerrod Carmichael, are airing live on NBC and Peacock.

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