Bruce Willis Allegedly Mistreated During Film Shoot Despite Health Issues

According to new allegations, Bruce Willis was mistreated on the set of a film despite the director knowing he was struggling with a condition

By Doug Norrie | Published

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis’s career came to a somewhat abrupt end recently when his family released news that the iconic actor was struggling with the effects of aphasia and that he would no longer be able to continue acting. While rumors had spread throughout the industry over a few years that the actor was struggling with various aspects of being on set, it was still troubling to hear that Bruce Willis had faced severe cognitive decline. And now there are disturbing claims coming from the set of one of his movies. According to Streaming Rant from LA Times reporting, representatives of Willis are alleging that a director and producer on one of his films mistreated Willis even after knowing that the actor was struggling with his health.

These allegations come from those representing Bruce Willis, are focused on Randall Emmett, and stem, in some part, from the movie Midnight in the Switchgrass which was released last year in 2021. Apparently, it was becoming obvious on the set of that movie that Bruce Willis was struggling with various aspects of the production but Emmett allegedly pushed the actor to keep working even when it became clear the former could complete some simple instructions. Emmett was the director for this film, his first time in the chair, and these allegations say that at multiple points he became frustrated with Willis’s inability to get certain lines or actions right for the film.

Among the different allegations against Emmett (all of which he and his representation deny), the director stormed off the set when Bruce Willis wasn’t picking up on certain cues during the filming. There was the word from the set that Willis couldn’t remember his lines and failed to kick a door open on cue for a scene despite multiple efforts and lots of instruction. Attorneys for Bruce Willis allege that Emmett knew about the mental decline and pressured to have him work anyway. And there are also allegations that Emmett kept Bruce Willis working in spite of the known mental and cognitive struggles because the latter was an important part in getting financing for films as part of Emmett’s production company.

While Emmett was the director for Midnight in the Switchgrass, Bruce Willis took part in many films for the former’s production company. Those included but weren’t limited to, Fortress, Survive the Night, Trauma Center, and 10 Minutes Gone, with Wire Room and Wrong Place still on the way. It’s unclear what will come from these most recent allegations. The contention is that Emmett was able to secure financing for many of these films because of Bruce Willis’s involvement which incentivized him to look past some of the problems Bruce Willis was having with cognitive decline. 

In March of this year, Bruce Willis’s family announced that he was officially retiring from acting in part because he was suffering from aphasia. The condition affects the ability to formulate or understand language because of damage to part of the brain. He still has four movies set to be released over this year, but they had been filmed prior to this announcement.