The 2020 memoir “Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother” featured a devastating anecdote about producer Scott Rudin.
The “Addams Family” director noted how terrible Rudin treated those in his show business orbit. Rudin’s underlings fared the worst, but it’s clear from Sonnenfeld’s memoir others bore the brunt of his rage.
Year after year. Production after production. And no one spoke publicly about it.
Sonnenfeld’s book came out in 2020, but it took a full year before the Cancel Culture mob tapped Rudin on the shoulder for an unrelated incident. And, as if by magic, a flood of unflattering Rudin stories suddenly swamped the press. The producer’s career, red hot at the time of the revelations, collapsed.
We’re watching something similar happen to Bill Murray.
Production on Murray’s current film, “Being Mortal” shut down after allegations of inappropriate behavior from the “Ghostbusters” legend.
What kind of behavior? We don’t know for sure, but the gossip mill’s description is far from monstrous. In fact, it feels like something that should be ignored or addressed between two intelligent adults, assuming that’s the extent of it.
That’s not all we learned this week.
The son of acting legend Richard Dreyfuss shared the tumult on the set of the 1991 comedy “What About Bob?” starring Murray and his father. Murray allegedly threw a heavy glass ashtray at his Oscar-winning co-star during one argument.
An ugly moment, no doubt. It also didn’t stop Murray’s career, which soared even higher following that film’s release.
Why is that considered toxic behavior now when it wasn’t labeled such then? Culturally speaking, we’re more enlightened about sexual discrimination today than 30-plus years ago, but off-screen violence was always considered unacceptable.
Breitbart News argues Murray will be unfairly blacklisted moving forward. That’s likely true, assuming the current allegations are as tepid as described. This also suggests the Murray pattern will repeat itself sooner than later.
Another star will be accused of bad behavior, either on-screen or off, and their past actions will “resurface” shortly thereafter.
Stories kept buried for years, if not decades, will be brought up. The actor will be sentenced by both Hollywood and the Court of Public Opinion without getting a fair chance to defend him or herself.
Does Murray deserve to be blacklisted for unprofessional behavior? If so, here’s betting there are dozens, and dozens, of similar stars who could also face repercussions for artistic meltdowns.
We’ve seen examples of this behavior over the years, but the stars in question didn’t suffer any professional blowback. Remember Christian Bale’s on-set meltdown while shooting “Terminator: Salvation?”
What about director David O. Russell’s “I Heart Huckabees” meltdown?
More recently, we learned Tom Cruise lost his cool after crew members disobeyed COVID-19 protocols.
Will any of the above “resurface” if these stars are accused of future misdeeds? When will it end, and can stars be forgiven for the past antics?
Tinsel Town has so many stories left untold, and many are far from flattering.
How many more secrets will be spilled moving forward and what careers could end as a result? Will the stars in question get the chance to defend themselves?