Culture

Liam Neeson says the #MeToo movement has brought about a "witch hunt"

Liam Neeson says the #MeToo movement has brought about a

Liam Neeson has expressed his scepticism about the sexual misconduct allegations now sweeping through Hollywood and the entertainment industry, in an uncomfortable appearance on Irish television.

The actor was on Ireland's The Late Late Show promoting his new film The Commuter when host Ryan Tubridy brought up the #MeToo movement occurring in Hollywood in protest of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Neeson, one of Hollywood's most bankable and respected stars, referred to the recent case of the writer and broadcaster Garrison Keillor to illustrate his point.

He referred to radio presenter and writer Garrison Keillor who was dropped by Minnesota Public Radio past year after allegations of "inappropriate behaviour with an individual who worked with him".

In The Late Late Show interview, Neeson echoed Keillor's version of the events that led to the allegations against him, which framed them as a well-intentioned misunderstanding.

Asked about Dustin Hoffman, who, among other allegations, was accused by former co-star Karen Rossetter of "nightly sexual harassment" during a theatre run of Death of a Salesman in the mid-80s, Neeson said he was "on the fence about that".

Keillor told a local newspaper following his dismissal: "I put my hand on a woman's bare back. And he immediately pulled his hand back and apologised". "Later, he emailed her because he was concerned - apparently he has a thing about touching and physical intimacy - and again she said, 'Don't worry about it, forget about it".

Two other women have said Hoffman assaulted them on 1987 movie Ishtar, while another woman, a friend of Hoffman's daughter, has also made allegations against the actor. You do silly things and it becomes kind of superstitious; if you don't do it every night you think it s going to jinx the show.

However, Neeson distanced himself from Hoffman's alleged behaviour, saying: "I'm not saying I've done similar things to what he's done".

"Months later, the radio station gets a call from a lawyer saying that [Keillor] inappropriately touched this lady". The focus seems to be on Hollywood but it's across every industry.

"There is a movement happening", he said.

He said he would continue working non-stop to "fly the flag for Irish arts" and the charity Unicef, of which he is a goodwill ambassador. "And if you 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", Neeson said.



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