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Facebook signs Bill Murray, but that may be a bad choice in the post-Weinstein era

Facebook signs Bill Murray, but that may be a bad choice in the post-Weinstein era
[Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images]

Part of Facebook’s mad dash toward video is original television-like programming. Over the last few months, the social network has revealed new TV projects from myriad talent pools for its “Watch” video section. Today, it announced a new one: It it’s an unscripted show in which Bill Murray and his brother Brian Doyle-Murray road-trip around the country and watch minor league baseball games.

Leaving aside the fact that minor league baseball seems like an odd topic, Murray himself is a problematic choice in a the post-Weinstein era, when entire projects are being shelved and scrapped after sexual-harrassment accusations surface about the male leads that star in them. It’s pretty well known that Murray’s former wife, Jennifer Murray, levied serious abuse allegations against the actor in her divorce filing nine years ago.

From a Smoking Gun report in 2008:

[Jennifer] Murray contends that the comedian physically abused her on several occasions during their marriage (they were wed in 1997) and that the star hit her in the face during a November 2007 confrontation in her home

Others have written about the allegations since.

Back then, when these sorts of allegations came to light, they would usually blow over, largely unnoticed, because the accused was a beloved celebrity. But things are changing: Powerful men like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K. are now being ousted from the institutions that may have turned a blind eye to abuse allegations in an earlier era. With many other shoes likely to drop in the weeks and months to come, the question on everyone’s minds these days is, who’s next? So it may behoove Facebook to perform some due diligence.CGW