Bill Murray arrives for the screening of The Dead Don't Die.

Bill Murray did not tell parents to teach kids about tax by eating 30 per cent of their ice-cream

FactCheck August 2, 2019

The Statement

AAP FactCheck examined a Facebook post on July 26, 2019 that claimed to be a quote from US actor and comedian Bill Murray. The post by Money Magazine attributes Mr Murray with the following quote: “The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30 per cent of their ice-cream.” 

This Facebook post from July 26, 2019 attributes a quote encouraging parents to eat their kids’ ice cream to Bill Murray.

Money’s post asks the question, “How do you teach your kids about money?” and has been shared more than 65 times with more than 230 reactions and over 30 comments. Money Magazine, which started in 1999, says it is, “Australia’s longest-running, highest-selling and most-read personal finance magazine”. Money is followed by over 9000 people on Facebook. 

A number of other Australian financial service providers have shared the post, including regional Victorian firms Phillipsons Accounting and Financial Planning and Q & S Financial Planning and Melbourne-based Healthy Personal Finances

The Analysis

US actor Bill Murray has starred in a number of high profile films, including Ghostbusters I and II (1984 and 1989), Groundhog Day (1993), Rushmore (1998) and Lost in Translation (2003), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

In recent years Mr Murray has become a ‘cult’ figure on social media, loved for his unexpected encounters with strangers. He has served drinks to patrons in a Texas bar, photobombed an engagement photo shoot in South Carolina, read construction workers Emily Dickinson’s poetry in New York, and crashed a late-night student party in St Andrews, Scotland and washed their dishes before leaving. 

Despite his status, Mr Murray has no verified social media accounts. The quote used in the Facebook post originates from a tweet from @BillMurray posted on March 24, 2014. The account clearly states in its bio, “I AM NOT BILL MURRAY. This is a parody account. This account is not in any way affiliated with the actor Bill Murray.”

AAP FactCheck was unable to find any reputable record of Mr Murray saying the quote himself. The quote attributed to the actor, in different forms, has been shared on social media in a number of countries including Kenya, the USA, and Canada.

Mr Murray hasn’t commented on the number of Twitter accounts posing as him, but several other fact-checking outlets, including Snopes, also found the quote to be fake. Snopes found the quote gained prominence on social media in early 2017 – three years after the initial tweet on March 24, 2014. PolitiFact also conducted a check in 2019 and found the quote on Pinterest, Goodreads and the CBS News. PolitiFact concluded it was unable to find “credible evidence” the quote was from Mr Murray. 

The Verdict 

Based on this evidence, AAP FactCheck found the Facebook post to be false as the quote was posted by a Bill Murray “parody” account. 

 False – The primary claim within the post is factually inaccurate.

* AAP FactCheck is an accredited member of the International Fact-Checking Network. If you would like to support our independent, fact-based journalism, you can make a contribution to AAP here.

First published August 2, 2019 17:54 AEST

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