With his notoriously prickly behavior and a streak of lowbrow, artistically bankrupt movies, Eddie Murphy isn't exactly the most beloved man in Hollywood these days. And you know what doesn't help? Not showing up to the premiere of your own damn movie.

Meet Dave, in which Murphy plays the tiny alien captain of a human-sized, Murphy-shaped spaceship, had its gala opening in Hollywood on Tuesday, and Murphy was a no-show. That's right: Murphy, who plays two characters, whose face is plastered everywhere, who is the single reason anyone would want to see the movie, didn't attend his own premiere.

One of the producers told the press that it's because he was busy shooting his next film, A Thousand Words. The only problem with that explanation is that A Thousand Words is being directed by Brian Robbins ... and Brian Robbins spent Tuesday evening at -- you guessed it -- the Meet Dave premiere. (He directed it, too.) Don't you hate when your alibi was at the same place you were supposed to be?

Maybe Murphy was off doing some extra credit homework on A Thousand Words, without the director. Or maybe that producer got it mixed up and Murphy was working on something else equally important.

Or maybe the simplest explanation is the correct one: Maybe he's an inconsiderate jerk.
That's certainly been the word around town for years. Defamer re-posted an angry message-board rant Wednesday morning from someone allegedly involved with the premiere, who said Murphy didn't cancel until a couple hours beforehand. (That doesn't do much for his "I was shooting something else" excuse, either, since he'd have known that well in advance.) And talk of that kind of behavior has been dogging him for years.

Why is it a big deal if he shows up to his movie's premiere? Because there are other people who are counting on it. No doubt there would have been VIP rooms set up, and special instructions given, and a schedule to keep, and photo ops to stand for, all of which gets thrown into a tizzy when the star suddenly backs out. It's just thoughtless, you know?

If he had a valid reason for not being there -- and for not canceling in a more timely fashion -- then he needs to say so. He needs to do damage control. He needs to quit with the "oh, I'm shy and reclusive" act and apologize to the people he inconvenienced. And what about the fans -- those precious few fans he has left -- who were hanging around the theater expecting to catch a glimpse of him?

If he doesn't apologize for the no-show, that's fine. It's his prerogative. But in that case, he needs to accept the fact that people think he's an a-hole, and that he's earned that reputation through his own actions. If he's cool with that, so am I. I'd rather he be a decent guy, though.