Production for Bill Murray’s upcoming film Being Mortal was reportedly suspended following a complaint of “inappropriate behavior” filed against the actor. The news first came to light after the film was temporarily halted last week.
However, on April 21, production of the film indefinitely ceased amid an ongoing investigation into Murray's on-set behavior. Searchlight Pictures announced the news in an official letter written for the cast and crew:
“After reviewing the circumstances, it has been decided that production cannot continue at this time. We are truly grateful to all of you for everything you’ve put into this project.”
Principal photography of the film began on March 28, and sources reported it was halfway through its production process. The movie is based on Atul Gawande’s nonfiction book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End and is being written and directed by comedian Aziz Ansari.
Ansari is also part of the film’s cast alongside Murray and Seth Rogan but is not part of the ongoing investigation. Despite being one of the most prominent faces in Hollywood, Murray has had a long history of being involved in controversies on set.
The actor made headlines in 2000 when he fell out with his Charlie’s Angels co-star Lucy Liu over similar behavior while filming.
A look back into Lucy Liu and Bill Murray’s incident
Back in 2000, Lucy Liu had an altercation with Bill Murray on the set of Charlie's Angels. The actress accused Murray of throwing punches at her after telling her she was not capable of acting. Murray later claimed they only had an argument and "made peace" after the incident.
However, Liu opened up about the incident nearly a decade later while speaking to the Los Angeles Times podcast Asian Enough last year. The actress said that the clash ensued while she was rehearsing for a scene that had to be reworked without Murray's knowledge:
“We had taken the weekend to rework that particular scene, and Bill Murray was not able to come because he had to attend some family gathering. So it was everyone else, and we just made the scene more fluid. I wish I had more to do with [the rewrite], but I didn’t.”
While Liu did not detail Murray's words, she claimed that the actor started using "inexcusable and unacceptable" language in an attempt to insult her:
“I won't get into the specifics, but it kept going on and on. I was, like, ‘Wow, he seems like he's looking straight at me.’ I couldn’t believe that [his comments] could be towards me because what do I have to do with anything majorly important at that time?”
The Kung Fu Panda star also mentioned that she stood up for herself and had no regrets about her actions:
“I stood up for myself, and I don’t regret it. No matter how low on the totem pole you may be or wherever you came from, there's no need to condescend or to put other people down. And I would not stand down, and nor should I have.”
She also said that many crew members appreciated her response to Murray’s attack several years later:
“I remember years later, maybe even decades later, some crew members that I didn’t even know at the time came up to me on other sets and told me that they were there at the time, and they were really grateful that I did that.”
Bill Murray also shared his side of the story while speaking to the Times of London in 2009:
“Look, I will dismiss you completely if you are unprofessional and working with me. When our relationship is professional, and you’re not getting that done, forget it.”
Charlie’s Angels star Drew Barrymore also addressed the incident last year and said:
“What really happened was Bill was just in a — you know, comedians can be a little dark sometimes — and he just came in a bad mood.”
Meanwhile, Charlie’s Angels director McG said Murray attempted to attack him “square in the head.” The latter has since denied the claims.
Twitter reacts to Bill Murray’s recent “inappropriate behavior” controversy
Bill Murray is undoubtedly one of the finest actors in Hollywood. However, he has often found himself in the middle of controversies for his questionable behavior on set.
In addition to his infamous altercation with Lucy Liu during the filming of Charlie’s Angels, Murray was called out for allegedly attacking What About Bob? co-star Richard Dreyfuss and threatening the film’s writer and producer Laura Ziskin.
Following his recent “inappropriate behavior” controversy on the set of his film Being Mortal, several people took to Twitter to recall the actor’s past actions:
As reactions continue to pour in online, it remains to be seen if Bill Murray will address the latest controversy. So far, the actor has maintained silence over the situation.