CANNES, FRANCE – JULY 16: Bill Murray attends the ‘New Worlds: Cradle of Civilization’ photocall during the 74th Cannes Film Festival on July 16, 2021 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Actor Bill Murray is a highly quoted person, but netizens are so excited to post his idioms that the actor started following Twitter on Monday for a quote he never even said.
The offensive quote in the questions is: “So if we lie to the government, it’s a crime.” But if they lie to us, it’s politics. A sentiment shared by many, of course, but never expressed by the legendary comic book star.
According to Reuters, the ghost hunters the actor never actually said that.
The confusion seems to stem from a now suspended Bill Murray parodies the Twitter account whose description reads: “” I AM NOT BILL MURRAY. This is a parody account. This account is in no way affiliated with actor Bill Murray.
Despite their own claim to be a parody account, the Twitter account’s handle was simply @BillMurray, so it’s no wonder the phone game that is Internet Zeitgeist has altered our collective memory of the quote. Parody account use of the quote, tweeted on October 18, 2013, has been archived here.
According to Reuters, iterations of the quote have been circulating since 1987, with another early example from 2010.
Additionally, the quote was also used by a Twitter user in 2012. Unlike these previous examples of where the quote originated, Twitter user @mrbankssy’s tweet was in the exact same wording as the quote which is often wrongly attributed to Murray.
In its article, the publication said they “found no evidence that Murray ever said this” and that a Google search of the quote and Murray’s name “brings up no credible sources”. The report goes on to say that they have contacted a representative for Murray and are awaiting a response, but it could take some time as he does not have an agent or cell phone.