Bill Murray gave his first interview to CNBC following his suspension from the upcoming film Being Mortal over allegations of inappropriate behavior.
Earlier this month, Fox Searchlight — the studio behind the Aziz Ansari-directed production — issued a statement declaring that “production cannot continue at this time” following the allegation against Murray, which was made by an unnamed person working on the film set. Reports claimed that the person who made the complaint is not Ansari, nor Murray’s co-star Seth Rogen.
“We are truly grateful to all of you for everything you’ve put into this project,” the letter from Fox Searchlight read. “Our hope is to resume production and are working with Aziz and [producer Youree Henley] to figure out that timing.”
Now, Murray has spoken out about the situation, calling it “a difference of opinion with a woman I'm working with.”
In his interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick, he explained, “I did something I thought was funny, and it wasn't taken that way. The company, the movie studio wanted to do the right thing so they wanted to check it all out, investigate it and so they stopped the production. But 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. We're both professionals. We like each other's work. We like each other I think and if you can't really get along and trust each other, there's no point in going further working together or making a movie as well.”
Murray called the experience “quite the education” for him.
“You know, what I always thought was funny as a little kid isn't necessarily the same as what's funny now,” he continued. “Things change and the times change so it's important for me to figure it out. And I think the most important thing is that it's best for the other person. I thought about it and if it's not best for the other person, doesn't matter what happens for me. And that's that gave me a great deal of comfort and relaxation because your brain doesn't operate well when you're in the unknown when you're thinking like, well, how can I be so, how could I misperceive? How could I be so inaccurate and so insensitive when you think you're being sensitive to some sensibility that you've had for a long time? So we're talking about it.”
While the Lost in Translation actor said he is not currently working things out with the studio, he is having conversations with the woman at the center of the complaint and “with the people that are helping her.” It’s unclear who Murray is specifically referring to.
“I was lucky to be with a bunch of other actors who were ahead of me in the pipeline sort of and I saw all the mistakes they made,” Murray continued. “And that helped me a great deal. And I know there's people that are behind me in the pipeline that are watching my mistakes going okay, okay. I'm gonna pick – I’m not going to forget that one.”
Since the suspension, Murray’s history of poor behavior on sets — as well as accusations of abuse from his ex-wife Jennifer Butler — have resurfaced. Murray's What About Bob? co-star Richard Dreyfuss previously called him a “bully,” and Lucy Liu, who appeared with the Ghostbusters alum in Charlie’s Angels confirmed that the two had an altercation while filming the movie. She told the Los Angeles Times’ podcast Asian Enough last year, “Some of the language was inexcusable and unacceptable, and I was not going to just sit there and take it. So, yes, I stood up for myself, and I don't regret it. I'm not going to sit there and be attacked.”
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