Most of us formed our opinion on Bill Murray decades ago.
The thing about opinions is that they sometimes need to be updated when new information is presented.
Bill Murray was set to star alongside Seth Rogen and Aziz Ansari in a Searchlight Pictures film, Being Mortal.
The studio has suspended production following alarming complaints about Murray’s "inappropriate" on-set behavior.
Searchlight Pictures is adapting Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, a 2014 nonfiction book by Atul Gawande, to the big screen.
The film is to be comedian and Parks & Rec alum Aziz Ansari’s directorial debut.
In response to the reports of Bill Murray’s on-set behavior, Searchlight Pictures is conducting an investigation while refusing to speak publicly on the matter.
On Wednesday, the studio addressed the cast and crew in a letter, informing everyone that production was being suspended.
The letter did not specify what the complaint was.
Instead, it ruled out Ansari and Rogen as culprits, and also assured those working on the film that it was not related to COVID-19.
While Searchlight Pictures declined to comment on an ongoing internal investigation, it did not remain a mystery for long.
The Hollywood Reporter quickly clarified that the original complaint was over Bill Murray.
Murray is a veteran actor and comedian with a troubled history that is often overlooked.
Obviously, we have no idea what the nature of the complaint against Murray was.
It could be anything — genuinely, anything — serious enough to prompt an investigation by the studio.
Pausing production for even a few days can be expensive, but some things are worth doing well — both morally and to avoid a painful lawsuit.
Principal photography on Being Mortal began in early March.
It is reported that the film is a little more than halfway done filming.
With Murray featuring so prominently, it is difficult to know how the studio will respond if the internal investigation turns up the worst.
In some, rare cases, extremely bad men with complaints lodged against them have been edited out or dramatically recast.
This can be an expensive ordeal, even with the good press generated by the righteous move.
Some films fall apart due to credible accusations. In other cases, people who are notorious monsters continue to work without repercussion.
What’s interesting about Murray is that he comes from a generation of celebrities who solidified in the public consciousness decades ago.
Current, culturally relevant celebrities can make headlines with whatever they do, big or small, and opinions can vary wildly.
Fans of Murray’s many decades of work may be surprised and horrified to learn that this complaint is hardly the first red flag.
Actually, just checking Bill Murray’s Wikipedia page will lead you to a massive sub-section labeled "Feuds."
Notably, he allegedly once threw a producer (a woman) into a lake while filming What About Bob?.
He also reportedly told Lucy Liu that she "could not act" during the filming of Charlie’s Angels, which is the sort of thing that makes your blood boil simply to read.
More seriously, Bill Murray has also been accused of multiple instances of spousal abuse.
In 2007, he allegedly hit his then-wife in the face, telling her that she was "lucky" that he did not "kill her."
Upon filing for divorce, Jennifer Butler also sought a restraining order.
We could not begin to guess whether Murray’s past allegations, either personal or professional, are related to the complaint made on set.
But it’s important to realize that just because someone doesn’t make inescapable headlines doesn’t mean that they’re still who you assumed them to be in 1996 or whatever.
We will follow this story with trepidation. As we all know, the general public cannot be normal about prolific actors accused of wrongdoing.