LOS ANGELES — Eddie Murphy was inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame at the organization’s show that highlighted works by entertainers and athletes of color.
After Murphy accepted his induction award Saturday night, the actor-comedian said he was “very moved” by the honor. He was presented the award by his longtime friend and “Coming 2 America” co-star Arsenio Hall.
“I’ve been making movies for 40 years now … 40 years. This is the perfect thing to commemorate that and be brought into the hall of fame,” he said. “Thank you very much. I’m very moved.”
Murphy went on to send a message to Hall about his famous red leather suit from his 1983 stand-up special “Delirious.”
“My red suit was not that tight Arsenio,” Murphy said. “I get a lot of cracks about that red suit. When I was rocking that red suit, that (expletive) was fly.”
The hall of fame induction is bestowed on an individual who is viewed as a pioneer in their respective field and whose influence shaped the “profession for generations to come.”
Previous inductees include Oprah Winfrey, Stevie Wonder, Spike Lee, Ray Charles and Sidney Poitier. The most recent honorees to be inducted were Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Paris Barclay in 2014.
Murphy began his career as a stand-up comic while as a teenager and eventually joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live.”
He starred in the box office hit “48 Hours” and made his mark in a slew of films such as “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Coming to America,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Dr. Dolittle” and “Dolemite Is My Name.” His latest film “Coming 2 America” was released on Amazon this month.
The awards ceremony virtually aired live on BET. It was also simulcast on CBS, MTV, VH1, MTV2, BET HER and LOGO.
“Black-ish” star and comedian Anthony Anderson hosted the show for the eighth consecutive year.
The late Chadwick Boseman won best actor in a motion picture for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The actor, who also starred in the blockbuster Marvel film “Black Panther,” died at 43 last year after he privately battled colon cancer.
“As always, he would give all honor and glory to the most high God,” said the teary-eyed Simone Ledward Boseman, the actor’s wife, who accepted the award on his behalf. “He would thank his mom and dad. And he would give honor to his ancestors as we now honor him. Thank you NAACP for always giving him his flowers. He was an uncommon artist and an even more uncommon person.”
Boseman spoke about how common Black people have been diagnosed with or died from colon cancer. She urged Black people over the age of 45 to get screened.
“Don’t put it off any longer,” she said. “Please, get screened. This disease is beatable if you catch it in its early stages. So you don’t have anytime to waste, even if you don’t have any family history. If you think nothing is wrong, and younger than 45, please be proactive about your health. Know the signs. Know your body. Listen to your body.”