My badly judged joke shut down shooting of film, says Bill Murray

Bill Murray says he realises some things are not as funny as they used to be. Photo: Neil Hal

David MillwardTelegraph Media Group Limited

Actor Bill Murray has said a poorly judged joke led to his being accused of misconduct, triggering the suspension of his latest film.

In an interview with CNBC, the chastened 71-year-old broke his silence over the claim of “inappropriate behaviour” made against him, admitting that what he thought was funny in his youth was no longer acceptable today,

“I did something I thought was funny and it wasn’t taken that way,” he said during the annual shareholders meeting of the Berkshire Hathaway financial conglomerate.

“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.”

Murray admitted he had been brooding about the incident in recent weeks and hoped he had learned his lesson.

“We’re talking about it. I think we’re going to make peace with it, I’m very optimistic about that,” he added.

The actor, whose film career has included starring roles in Lost in Translation, Ghostbusters and Caddyshack, suggested that the incident reflected how humour has evolved over the years, with offence being taken at jokes which were once considered acceptable.

He said: “It’s been quite an education for me.

“The world is different than it was when I was a little kid. What I always thought was funny as a little kid isn’t necessarily the same as what’s funny now.

“Things change and the times change, so it’s important for me to figure it out. I think it’s a sad dog that can’t learn any more. I don’t want to be that sad dog and I have no intention of it.”

Murray was due to star alongside Seth Rogan in Being Mortal – a film version of surgeon Atul Gawande’s non-fiction book about end-of-life care.

The film was halfway through production when work was suspended.

The actor described the incident as a “difference of opinion” with a woman working on the production.

Details have not been disclosed. Murray said: “As of now, we’re talking and we’re trying to make peace with each other.

“We’re both professionals, we like each other’s 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.” (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2022)