Bill Murray Was Apparently Kind Of A Jerk To Fans At A Meet-And-Greet In Chicago
By Emma G. Gallegos in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 13, 2017 8:45PM
Bill Murray charmed the crowds and critics at the Chicago Symphony Center earlier this week in a unique performance that paired his readings of literary classics with virtuoso performances by classical musicians. Tuesday's performance of "New Worlds: Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends" seemed to go off without a hitch—until the VIP meet-and-greet afterward.
VIPs who paid an extra $150 for the performance were promised pizza, beer and a picture with Murray after the performance. The meet-and-greet started off okay, according to Sean Kennedy, an attorney who thought the post-show event would make a special gift for his brother's birthday, he told the Sun-Times.
But things started to go off the rails when fans began snapping photos of him while they were standing in line and waiting for their turn to take a professional photo. Kennedy told the Tribune that fans hadn't been told that snapping cell phone photos were off-limits, but Murray admonished them. One woman was even escorted out by security for snapping a photo of Murray eating the aforementioned pizza. The Wilmette-raised actor really doesn't like having candid photos snapped of him—last year he hurled fans' cell phones off a roof when he caught them taking his photo.
Murray did a few rounds of individual and couple photos without any problem, and those fans were happy with their VIP experience. But then he asked the professional photographer to start doing large group shots instead of individual ones with fans. Kennedy told the Sun-Times he was probably flagging after the late-night performance and attending the Cubs game the night before: "He was probably just tired."
One woman asked if she and her husband could take a photo with just the three of them, instead of a group of strangers, and Murray really didn't like that.
"(Murray) yells at her, 'We don't want your sour puss in our group picture. Get out of here. Get out of here,'" said Kennedy told the Tribune. "Everybody was like, is he just trying to be funny or is he for real right now? It was pretty uncomfortable to watch this."
He told the Sun-Times, "I think some people thought he was kidding at first, and she was embarrassed and moved to the side. But he was serious."
Shortly after, Murray abruptly left, leaving some of his fans standing in line and startled at what had transpired. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association offered refunds for remaining fans.
"It was an unfortunate end to a wonderful evening. We planned the VIP reception as well as we could, and our staff did a terrific job ensuring our patrons were accommodated appropriately," Dana Navarro, CSO Association spokesman, said in a statement to the Tribune.
Kennedy, for one, apparently didn't take it too hard, though. "[W]ell, okay, yeah, he’s acting like a jerk, but he's our jerk," he said, according to CBS.
Murray has continued his "New Worlds" tour with cellist Jan Vogler, including a performance on The Late Show with Colbert: