Liam Neeson has waded into the dialogue about the ongoing sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood, saying that the #MeToo movement has brought about a “witch hunt”.
During an interview on Ireland’s Late Late show, host Ryan Tubridy asked the Taken star for his thoughts on the recent allegations made against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and many other powerful men in the entertainment industry.
In rather surreal circumstances, surrounded by shots of himself from previous films – he was being celebrated on the show after picking up a presidential honour for his contribution to Ireland – Neeson expressed some concern for the way the #MeToo movement was unfolding.
“There is a bit of a witch hunt happening,” he said. “There’s some famous people being suddenly accused of touching some girl’s knee or something, and suddenly they’re being dropped from their programme.”
He then appeared to defend actor Dustin Hoffman, who is facing sexual assault allegations from three women.
“The Dustin Hoffman thing… I’m on the fence about that,” he said. “Because, when you’re doing a play and you’re with your family – other actors, technicians – you do silly things, and it becomes kind of superstitious. If you don’t do it every night, you think it’s gonna jinx the show.”
“I think Dustin Hoffman, was… I’m not saying i’ve done similar things to what he did – apparently he touched a girl’s breast – it’s childhood stuff.”
However, despite his skepticism about the way in which the movement has unfolded thus far, he did share his support.
“There is a movement happening. It’s healthy, and it’s across every industry. The focus seems to be on Hollywood at the minute,” he said. “I’m a Unicef goodwill ambassador, a very proud one. And I get sent facts and figures and stuff – and if you’ve read the stuff I’ve read about how female labourers are being treated in farms, ranches and all the rest of it, it’s chilling.”