Actor Tituss Burgess was not happy with Andy Cohen’s line of questioning on Sunday’s Watch What Happens Live! and let the Bravo host know in remarks on social media.
Cohen asked Burgess about working with actor and comedian Eddie Murphy on his upcoming film Dolemite Is My Name.
Asked Cohen: “Did you get to chat with him at all? He was very problematic for the gays at one point when I was coming up.”
Replied Burgess: “He wasn’t problematic for Tituss, and we had a wonderful time. We talked about Dreamgirls. He should’ve won the Oscar, I believe. He was great. Any troubles he may have had with gay people I guess are gone because he loved me.”
Burgess then said something to someone off-camera, and when Cohen asked about it, Burgess replied, “Keep going, girl. Do your show.”
Burgess really went off on Cohen later on Instagram when a follower asked about the moment: “She can be a messy queen! Yes I said it! Don’t care he knows either! He should remember his talk show isn’t an episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta! It’s a place where artists come to talk about art and have a little fun. NOT a place to rehash old rumors or bring a star negative press. Sunday was a display of ratchet behavior by a well connected man having blatant disregard for one of his guests. If only time were taken to know who I am and not assuming that I am the character I play on tv he would know how to conduct a proper interview with at all! I received 4 Emmy nominations for acting! NOT for being my self. He was lucky I had my wits and Christian values THAT day. Always keep it classy. Being friends with other talented celebrities doesn’t make you talented it makes you friends with other famous celebrities! He should rip a page from Anderson Cooper and learn how to do his job.”
Cohen spoke about the moment on his SiriusXM show, according to People, saying that Burgess “wasn’t having me” throughout the show, and seemed miffed earlier when Cohen had brought up the musical adaptation of The Preacher’s Wife he’s been working on:
“I think that was the first moment that he was pissed. I said, ‘Oh, you wrote the musical for The Preacher’s Wife. And then I said, ‘I didn’t know that, that’s a great idea.’ And he said, ‘You talked about it two other times on this show!’ And I was like, ‘Ugh oh…’ I think that was the first point. … I’ve done 1300 episodes. Forgive me for forgetting you wrote the musical about The Preacher’s Wife. By the way, I still think it’s a great idea. I’m still excited to talk about it. I was being supportive. But yes, I had forgotten. I’m sorry that I forgot your upcoming project. I know I shouldn’t have forgotten. I like the guy. I ran into him at a bar in Harlem like, eight months ago, and we had a really nice talk. So I don’t know.”
As for Murphy, he apologized in 1996 for past homophobic remarks and jokes about people with AIDS: “I deeply regret any pain all this has caused. Just like the rest of the world, I am more educated about AIDS in 1996 than I was in 1981. I think it is unfair to take the words of a misinformed 21-year-old and apply them to an informed 35-year- old man. I know how serious an issue AIDS is the world over. I know that AIDS isn’t funny. It’s 1996 and I’m a lot smarter about AIDS now.”
Cohen has written about Murphy in his memoir Most Talkative: “Like everybody, I had loved Eddie Murphy on Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately, his live routine differed from his television shtick; namely in that it mostly consisted of ridiculing gay people. Every other word out of his mouth was ‘faggot.’ And with each and every gay joke, the crowd went wild. They loved it. My friends loved it. I was surrounded by thousands of people in hysterics, and they were all laughing at ‘faggots.’ And ipso facto, laughing at me.”