Why Do People Hate Bill Murray?

Bill Murray is an iconic comedic actor known for his deadpan delivery and memorable performances in films like Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and Lost in Translation.

While Murray has many devoted fans, he also has his fair share of critics and people who claim to dislike him or even “hate” him. This article will explore some of the potential reasons why Bill Murray rubs some people the wrong way.

He’s Known for Being Difficult to Work With

One of the most common critiques of Bill Murray is that he can be difficult to work with on set. There are many stories of Murray being uncooperative with directors, going off script, or otherwise behaving in unprofessional ways during filming.

For example, during the filming of Groundhog Day in 1993, director Harold Ramis said that Murray was extremely difficult to work with due to his erratic behavior and clashes with Ramis over the script.

Apparently, Murray and Ramis had a major falling out during filming that permanently damaged their relationship. This story has contributed to Murray’s reputation as being “difficult.”

Anecdotes About Murray’s On-Set Behavior

  • During Ghostbusters, Murray often ad-libbed his lines without warning his co-stars
  • He threw producers into a river during What About Bob? when they visited the set
  • He ripped pages out of the script during Groundhog Day that he didn’t want to film

Murray’s unorthodox on-set behavior likely stems from his background in improv comedy and his generally relaxed, anarchic personality. However, it has led to friction with directors and co-stars over the years.

He Has a Reputation for Being Rude or Dismissive to Fans

Another reason why some people claim to dislike Bill Murray is reports of him being rude, dismissive or even downright mean to fans who approach him. There are numerous stories of Murray mocking autograph seekers, refusing to take photos or otherwise acting in a surly manner.

A famous story is him allegedly throwing a fan’s cell phone off a rooftop when they tried to surreptitiously snap a photo of the actor. Apocryphal or not, these stories have shaped public perception of Murray as being somewhat of a “jerk” in his real-life interactions.

Additionally, Murray has been known to crash parties, refuse interviews and eschew Hollywood glamour – which some interpret as him thinking he is “too cool” for fandom. Despite his on-screen warmth and charm, accounts of Murray’s real-life detachment have rubbed people the wrong way.

Explanation for Murray’s Difficult Fan Interactions

However, there may be explanations for Murray’s occasionally odd public behavior and difficulty meeting fan expectations:

  • As an improv comic, he shuns anything too rehearsed or false
  • His laidback personality clashes with the modern concept of celebrity
  • Fears invasion of privacy and too much public exposure

Nonetheless, stories of Murray being aloof or indifferent to admirers have contributed to the perception that he looks down on regular people.

He’s Made Controversial Comments Over the Years

Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, Bill Murray has made some controversial comments over the years that have put some people off. Due to his dry, deadpan humor, it’s not always clear when Murray is joking – which has gotten him into hot water at times.

Some examples of Murray’s more questionable comments:

  • In 2016, he made remarks about the all-female Ghostbusters reboot that some saw as sexist
  • He’s made light of past spousal abuse allegations in a mocked PSA video
  • In 2020, he compared park rangers to Nazis over alleged bad treatment
  • Defended his friend Harold Ramis after reports of difficult behavior on Groundhog Day

While Murray’s irreverent humor and refusal to be politically correct are central to his appeal, some of his remarks have backfired or come across as tone-deaf. As a result, he’s developed a reputation among some as an insensitive curmudgeon.

He’s Selective About Which Films He Stars In

Unlike many actors who follow the big Hollywood money, Bill Murray has always been highly selective about which films he chooses to appear in. While this may seem positive, his reticence to capitalize on his fame has frustrated some fans.

Murray passed on starring in films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Monsters Inc., and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He also took lengthy breaks between starring roles at points in his career. This choosiness has led to some viewing Murray as ungrateful for his success or wasteful of his prodigious talents.

However, others see his selective approach as a form of integrity – placing art above fame and fortune. Still, his unreliability and inconsistency has irritated those wishing to see him on screen more often.

He Has a Reputation as a Partier

While Bill Murray’s party guy persona originated in his early days on Saturday Night Live, stories of his wild antics and substance-fueled adventures have continued to follow him over the decades.

There are apocryphal legends of Murray doing things like:

  • Crashing random house parties to do the dishes
  • Riding in a golf cart through fast food drive-thrus
  • Joining complete strangers for drinks at bars

And Murray himself has admitted getting drunk and going skinny dipping late at night while filming films.

While many find these stories charming, others see Murray’s party lifestyle as unbecoming and immature for a man of his age. Stories of drunken public nudity and other intoxicated antics have led some to view Murray as a poor role model.

Murray’s Explanation of His Partying

However, Murray has defended his party-loving lifestyle in interviews:

  • He says it’s his way of escaping the boredom and isolation of Hollywood filmmaking
  • Enjoys connecting with “real” people vs. wealthy celebrities and industry types
  • Doesn’t believe in following polite rules of behavior

Nonetheless, his wild partying rubs some people the wrong way.

His Political Views Don’t Sit Well With Some

While Bill Murray keeps his political cards close to his vest, he’s made no secret of his generally liberal, Democratic-leaning views. In a time of increased political polarization, Murray’s left-of-center stances have alienated him from more conservative Americans.

Some examples of Murray’s politics seeming out-of-step with a segment of fans:

  • Publicly backed Obama and criticized Republicans
  • Hosted fundraisers for Democratic politicians like Barack Obama
  • Supports action on climate change and environmentalism
  • Critical of income inequality and limitations of capitalism

Of course, he’s also mocked Democrats and expressed some libertarian views at times too. However, his left-leaning stances and Democratic support have led some conservatives to sour on the actor.


In the end, Bill Murray’s unique persona and unconventional approach to celebrity inspire both love and irritation from the public. His laidback and improvisational comedic talents built him an enormous fanbase over his long career.

However, his difficult on-set behavior, aloofness with fans, controversial comments, selectivity with roles, party lifestyle, and liberal politics have also rubbed some people the wrong way over time.

Nevertheless, the public fascination and debate around Bill Murray demonstrate the impact he’s had on American comedy and culture over the past four decades. While far from universally beloved, he remains an iconic and influential performer of his generation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Why People Dislike Bill Murray

Why do some people find Bill Murray overrated?

Some critics feel Murray plays essentially the same character in many films – the smarmy, detached smartass. They see him as coasting on this built-in persona versus showing greater acting range.

What movie set did Bill Murray behave worst on?

Murray’s unprofessional behavior reached its apex during the filming of Groundhog Day. His constant tardiness and clashes with Harold Ramis caused major disruptions.

What’s the worst example of Bill Murray mistreating a fan?

Among the most notorious stories is Murray allegedly throwing a fan’s cellphone off a rooftop for trying to sneak a photo of the actor without permission.

Why did Bill Murray object to the all-female Ghostbusters movie?

Murray felt the remake was crassly capitalizing on the original’s legacy. He also objected to not being consulted on the project based on his iconic role in the 1984 original.

What kinds of political candidates and causes does Bill Murray support?

Murray is a longtime Democratic supporter, backing politicians from Barack Obama to local Chicago Democrats. He’s advocated for addressing climate change and criticized income inequality.

What comedian does Bill Murray have a legendary long-running feud with?

Murray had an infamous contentious relationship and falling out with comedian Chevy Chase that began during their Saturday Night Live days in the 1970s.

What popular family movie franchise did Bill Murray turn down?

Murray notoriously passed on playing the role of the father in the 2001 Pixar hit Monsters Inc. The role ended up going to John Goodman instead.

Why does Bill Murray prefer living in upstate New York versus LA or NYC?

Murray has said he enjoys the privacy and laidback atmosphere upstate to escape from the stress and superficiality of big cities like Los Angeles and New York.

What critically acclaimed Wes Anderson film did Murray agree to act in for just $9,000?

Murray accepted only $9,000 to play business manager Raleigh St. Clair in Anderson’s 1998 film Rushmore. He took the tiny salary to work with Anderson.

What inanimate object did Bill Murray famously whisper to in Lost in Translation?

In a famous improvised scene, Murray movingly whispers private emotions into the ear of a Japanese Suntory whiskey bar advertisement.

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