Brian Cox had some choice words for the now-former head of Fox Corp. and News Corp., Rupert Murdoch — the real-life counterpart to Cox’s “Succession” character, Logan Roy.
For four seasons, Cox portrayed Roy, the nefarious and conniving leader of the conservative Waystar Royco enterprise, which ran its own Fox News-inspired TV station. In May, it was reported that “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong had originally conceived of the show as a drama based on the Murdoch family, fittingly titled “The Murdochs.” He later swapped the family name for Roy, and the rest is TV history.
After Murdoch’s announcement last week that he will be stepping down as chairman of Fox, it was announced that Lachlan Murdoch would succeed his father.
On Sunday, Cox revealed how he feels about the media magnate’s recent transition away from leadership and his decision to hand the reigns to his eldest boy. (Murdoch, who has been married four times, has another son and four daughters.)
“I think he’s been watching too much ‘Succession,’ clearly,” Cox told the BBC. “I mean, you can’t predict these things, but the fact that he picked one over the other and it’s quite funny, really. And it just seems to me ... there’s all kinds of rumors about how (Murdoch) was supposed to have told (his ex-wife) Jerry Hall to ‘please do not talk to the writers of “Succession.”’ This could all be heresy, so I don’t know.”
Speaking about the 92-year-old Murdoch’s disposition, Cox said, “He’s probably the most tenacious human on God’s earth. He’s just kept on going, but I think eventually there comes a point when he has to stop and it had to happen and it’s happened.”
The Emmy winner then directly responded to Murdoch’s goodbye message to his employees, in which the mogul wrote: “The battle for the freedom of speech and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, has never been more intense. My father (founder of the Murdoch media empire, Keith Murdoch) believed in freedom, and Lachlan is absolutely committed to the cause. Self-serving bureaucracies are seeking to silence those who question their provenance and purpose.”
Cox scoffed at the sentiment in the statement, retorting, “Freedom? Freedom for what? Freedom to impose his ideas on other people, freedom to kind of manipulate certain things in certain directions? I mean, he’s certainly done a lot of that in his life.”
The 77-year-old actor also shared a story about how the husband of Elisabeth Murdoch — a daughter of the now-emeritus Fox chairman — once ran into him at a cafe and noted that “Succession” was “an interesting series.” The Murdoch in-law also pleaded, “Do you think maybe the writers could be a bit nicer to us next season?”
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