Liam Neeson, the star of the action blockbuster Taken 3, is coming under fire for comments that critics say undermines support for the second amendment. PARA USA, which supplied Taken 3 with firearms, is calling for a boycott of Neeson’s films.
“There’s too many f*****g guns out there. Especially in America. I think the population is like, 320 million? There’s over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a f*****g disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.'”
So, what about Liam Neeson’s repeated use of guns in movies like Taken 3? Taken‘s lead character, Bryan Mills, doesn’t shy away from using guns, grenades or anything else potentially lethal to seek out his revenge.
But Neeson was careful to make a distinction between reality and fantasy.
“A character like Bryan Mills going out with guns and taking revenge: it’s fantasy… It doesn’t mean they’re all going to go out and go, ‘Yeah, let’s get a gun!””
Neeson went on to say that Taken 3 would be the last movie in the Taken series, which started in 2008. That might more convenient for everyone, since the gun supplier for Taken 3 has pledged never to supply Neeson’s movies with firearms again, and encourages others to do the same. They posted an official declaration on their Facebook account.
“PARA USA regrets its decision to provide firearms for use in the film ‘Taken 3.’ While the film itself is entertaining, comments made by its Irish-born star during press junkets reflect a cultural and factual ignorance that undermines support of the Second Amendment and American liberties. We will no longer provide firearms for use in films starring Liam Neeson and ask that our friends and partners in Hollywood refrain from associating our brand and products with his projects. Further, we encourage our partners and friends in the firearms industry to do the same.”
If the boycott succeeds, Neeson’s movies may take a hit. Not only does the Taken series use plenty of firearms, the Irish-born star has very few titles to his name that don’t involve gun violence in one form or another. But could Neeson’s comments hurt PARA USA?
School shootings have hurt PARA USA in the past. The firearms supplier has been a part of Freedom Group since early 2012, which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management. After the school shooting at Sandy Hook, Cerberus announced they would pull out of Freedom Group. According to the Quartz, Cerberus has yet to sell the profitable firearm manufacturer.
Taken‘s Liam Neeson went on to potentially start another high-profile fight as the interviewer later asked if gun violence issues extend to police responsibility.
After a moment of hesitation, Neeson added, “let’s put it this way: I think a light has been shone on the justice system in America, and it’s a justifiable light.”
If law enforcement officials take an equally harsh view of the actor’s comments, the Taken 3 star might also be lacking police cooperation for his future projects.
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