While presenting the Best Picture award at the 60th annual Oscars in 1988, Murphy said that he was initially reluctant to attend that year due to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' repeated failure to honor black people. He changed his mind after a little convincing from his manager.
"I just feel that we have to be recognized as a people," he told the Oscars audience. "I just want you to know that I'm going to give this award, but black people will not ride the caboose of society, and we will not bring up the rear anymore. I want you [the Academy] to recognize us."
Murphy would decide not to show up many years later. In late 2011, he withdrew from hosting the 84th Academy Awards after close friend Brett Ratner withdrew as show producer of the upcoming ceremony. Ratner was under fire for an anti-gay slur he'd uttered during an Q&A session following a screening of the movie "Tower Heist."
Check out Eddie Murphy's 1988 remarks above.
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