Bill Murray, 71, is a Hollywood icon with a career that has expanded for decades. He first rose to prominence in the late 70s replacing Chevy Chase on the late-night sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live (also known as SNL). From there, he transitioned into acting, starring in cult classics that have expanded generations. His performance in the romantic comedy-drama film, Lost in Translation garnered critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In recent news, reports share that production on Murray’s latest film, Being Mortal, has been suspended due to allegations that the Ghostbusters star has conducted inappropriate behavior while on set.
In a letter sent by the movie studio, Searchlight Pictures, to the cast and crew of the film, it states as its reason to halt production, “Late last week, we were made aware of a complaint, and we immediately looked into it.” Although it is unclear as of the time of this writing what exactly Murray has been accused of doing to cause filming on the project to be halted, Searchlight has launched an investigation into the matter and has not yet commented on the details of said investigation. The studio further stated in their letter as far as when filming will resume, “We are truly grateful to all of you for everything you’ve put into this project. Our hope is to resume production and [we] are working with Aziz and [producer Youree Henley] to figure out that timing. Production will be in touch with you to share details on the wrap, and we will let you know as soon as we have more information to share.”
The film started its production on March 28 and is reportedly halfway through filming. Whether Murray will be replaced or not, for this reason, has yet to be determined as well as whether the suspension will affect its 2023 release date. Being Mortal marks the directorial debut of actor Aziz Ansari and stars fellow actors Seth Rogan and Keke Palmer.
Abron’s Hot Take
Now, on the surface, it would appear that Murray is a pretty standup guy. I mean you don’t maintain a career this long in Hollywood if you’re a complete jerk; however, there are exceptions to the rule. This isn’t the first time that the actor has been accused of bad behavior. There have been multiple stories from directors and costars alike, who have shared their experiences of aggressive actions and insults hurled towards them by Murray that they have deemed disrespectful if not abusive. In 2021, actress Lucy Liu, 53, opened up about the verbal insults she suffered from Murray on the set of the 2000 action-comedy film, Charlie’s Angels.
So, it’s a bit hard not to believe that the latest complaints on the set of Being Mortal have some element of truth to them and that Murray is in fact the culprit of the “inappropriate behavior.” There are just so many questions to ask about why exactly does Bill Murray find it necessary to berate, insult, or physically attack his costars? Is this a form of a superiority complex? Is he facing personal demons that he refuses to get help for and would rather take his anger out on those around him? Is he suffering from a mental health disorder? There are just so many ways to look at this. But what I will say is that under no circumstances whatsoever, regardless of if the answer to any of the questions asked above is yes, is it ever okay to behave the way Murray has.
We know of the pressures that celebrities face and how it can become isolating and has caused many others to suffer nervous breakdowns. I’m empathetic to their plight. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have eyes on you all of the time, cameras in your face 24/7, and strangers judging your every move and dissecting every word you say. However, with any job, you have to take the good with the bad and if Bill has learned nothing in his nearly five-decade career, you would think it is how to treat people.
The man is 71 years old. At this point, he should be at a stage in his life where he’s working for the pure enjoyment of it all. He has nothing to prove as he’s built a career that most aspiring actors can only dream of. What is the reason for his negative behavior? Here’s a piece of advice Mr. Murray…if working with others has proven to become an issue for you – if you find that sharing in the human experience with others is too much, then perhaps you might want to consider retirement. That way, you never have to work with actors you hate – take instruction from directors you despise, and in return, those same individuals can come to work feeling safe and not having to worry if they’ll have objects thrown at them or forced to listen to your diatribes at their expense. It’s a win-win if you ask me.
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