Bill Murray finally breaks his silence on claims of inappropriate behaviour on Aziz Ansari movie set

'I did something I thought was funny, and it wasn't taken that way.'
May 2, 2022 2:36 p.m. EST
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On April 18, the film Being Mortal (Aziz Ansari's directorial debut starring Bill Murray and Seth Rogen) suspended production after a complaint was filed the previous week against Murray.

The normally press-shy Murray has now broken his silence on the incident, speaking on Saturday with CNBC about what went down and how he’s trying to fix the situation.

“I had a difference of opinion with a woman I’m working with. I did something I thought was funny, and it wasn't taken that way," he said. 

"As of now, we're talking and we're trying to make peace with each other. I think that's where the real issue is, between our peace," he continued.

“We're both professionals, we like each others' work. We like each other, I think, and if we can't really get along and trust each other, there's no point in going further working together or making the movie as well. It's been quite an education for me."

While details from the filmmakers and production company have been scarce, a source told Page Six on April 23, “He was very hands-on touchy, not in any personal areas, but put an arm around a woman, touched her hair, pulled her ponytail — but always in a comedic way. It is a fine line and everybody loves Bill, but while his conduct is not illegal, some women felt uncomfortable and he crossed a line.”

A letter was sent to cast and crew explaining the shutdown of the picture that read in part, “Late last week, we were made aware of a complaint, and we immediately looked into it. After reviewing the circumstances, it has been decided that production cannot continue at this time.”

In the conversation with CNBC, Murray confessed that he realizes that times have changed, and that what was once "funny" on set concerning female co-stars is no longer acceptable, and he said he takes responsibility for not changing with the times.

“I’ve been doing not much else but thinking about it for the last week or two … you know, the world’s different than it was when I was a little kid,” he said. “What I always thought was funny as a little kid isn’t necessarily the same as what’s funny now. Things change and the time’s changed. So, it’s important for me to figure it out.”

He later added, “I think that's a really sad puppy that can't learn anymore. I don't want to be that sad dog and I have no intention of it."

He finished off his thoughts with, “What would make me the happiest would be to put my boots on and for both of us to go back into work and be able to trust each other and work at the work that we've both spent a lot of time developing the skill of.”

"And hopefully do something that's good for more than just the two of us, but for a whole crew of people, the moviemakers and the movie studio as well.”

This isn’t the first time that the Caddyshack star has been involved in an on-set altercation that left female co-stars unsettled.

Speaking with the Asian Enough podcast last July, Charlie’s Angels star Lucy Liu admitted that she and Murray got into an altercation on the set of the 2000 film after Murray allegedly berated her.

"It was unjust and it was uncalled for, and it was ... inexcusable and unacceptable," she said of Murray's misconduct. 

Even the movie’s director, McG, was on the receiving end of Murray’s misconduct, telling The Guardian in 2009 that an argument around creative differences led to the director being “headbutted by [Murray] ... square in the head."

During the making of the legendary 1991 comedy flick What About Bob?, producer Laura Ziskin alleged that Murray threw her into a lake while they were in the middle of a disagreement.

“Bill also threatened to throw me across the parking lot and then broke my sunglasses and threw them across the parking lot," she alleged. "I was furious and outraged at the time, but having produced a dozen movies, I can safely say it is not common behavior."

The Saturday Night Live alum has also previously been accused of domestic abuse. His ex-wife Jennifer Butler filed for divorce in May 2008, stating that Murray "hit her in the face" telling her "she was 'lucky he didn't kill her.'" 

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