Liam Neeson has said that the recent Hollywood sex claims have started a bit of a witch hunt. The 65-year-old actor, in an interview given to the Irish broadcaster RTE, pointed out the specific case of Dustin Hoffman, who has been accused of groping a 17-year-old intern during the set of his 1985 film Death of a Salesman. Neeson was careful to isolate the case of Hoffman from that of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.
“There is a bit of a witch hunt happening. There’s some people, famous people, being suddenly accused of touching some girl’s knee or something and suddenly they’re being dropped from their programme.”
Neeson claims to be on the fence with his fellow actors when it comes to these accusations, Sky News reports. The Taken actor explained his stance by implying that these issues aren’t often as serious as they are made out to be.
“When you’re doing a play and you’re with your family, other actors and technicians, you do silly things. You do silly things and it becomes superstitious. If you don’t do it every night you think it’s going to jinx the show.
“I think Dustin Hoffman… I’m not saying I’ve done similar things like what he did. Apparently he touched a girl’s breast and stuff, but it’s childhood stuff.”
Hoffman himself has, of course, denied these accusations, saying that they are not reflective of who he is. Neeson also brought up the case of American radio presenter Garrison Keillor, who was dropped from Minnesota Public Radio last year after being accused of inappropriate behavior.
Neeson expressed that he was originally supportive of the #MeToo movement, deeming it as a much-needed change in the industry. He also pointed out that we need to be aware that this is a problem that exists in every industry. People in social media have expressed mixed reactions to Neeson’s opinion on the recent series of Hollywood sex claims. Many have praised the actor for his honesty.
Neeson isn’t the first actor to make headlines this week for this fresh outlook on the Hollywood sex claims. Last week, veteran French film star Catherine Deneuve, along with dozens of other high position women in France, signed a letter that was published in the French daily Le Monde. The letter accused the #MeToo movement, which arose out of the allegations of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, of having gone too far and promoting “hatred of men and sexuality.” The letter called the movement, which claims to promote the liberation and protection of women, a witch hunt because it was instead only enslaving them to a status of eternal victim. The letter pointed out a need to defend men’s “freedom to bother,” claiming that historically men have always been the ones that approach women.
The letter was subsequently met with mixed reactions on social media.