Eddie Murphy will be inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame during the organization’s annual Image Awards.
The comedian’s longtime friend and collaborator Arsenio Hall will present him with the award — which is typically given to a pioneering individual who has helped to shape the future of his/her “profession for generations to come.”
“To this day, Eddie Murphy’s work continues to bring joy and laughter to individuals around the world,” said Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP. “And he is an amazing example of Black excellence, creativity and artistry.”
Murphy started his career as a teenager doing stand-up before joining the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” He later delved in acting, starring in movies like Coming to America, The Nutty Professor, Norbit and Dr. Dolittle.
After mulitple blockbusters, however, he took a long hiatus from acting — a decision he made after his later movies earned him nominations at the Golden Raspberry Awards, which honors the worst performances and films every of the year.
“I was making shitty movies,” Murphy said during an interview with the “WTF” podcast. “I was like, ‘This shit ain’t fun. They’re giving me Razzies…Motherfuckers gave me the Worst Actor Ever Razzie. [So I thought], ‘Maybe it’s time to take a break.’”
“I was only gonna take a break for a year, then all of a sudden six years go by, and I’m sitting on the couch, and I could sit on the couch and not get off it, but I don’t want to the last bunch of shit they see me do [to be] bullshit,” he continued. “The plan was to go do Dolemite, Saturday Night Live, Coming 2 America, and then do stand-up and see how I felt afterwards. At least then they’ll know I’m [still] funny.”
Though Murphy’s plan was delayed, the actor is nearly finished marking off his goals. His Netflix film, Dolemite is My Name, was released in 2019, he made his “SNL” return last year, and his Coming 2 America movie is currently available on Amazon Prime. As for his intentions to return to stand-up, he’ll wait until the world opens up again.
“When the pandemic is over, and it’s safe for everybody to go out and do it, then the plan is to do it,” Murphy previously told Kevin Hart.
The NAACP Image Awards will air on March 27. Maxwell and Jazmine Sullivan are scheduled to perform during the CBS telecast.