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While the rise of the #MeToo and the exposure of men like Harvey Weinstein has been embraced by many in Hollywood, some are men in the industry are pushing back. The latest, and perhaps most prominent, to take this stance is Liam Neeson. While promoting his new film, The Commuter, on the Irish talk show The Late Late Show, Neeson made it clear that he thought the movement had gone too far, labeling it as a “witch hunt” in some instances.
“There’s a bit of a witch hunt happening too. There are some people — famous people — being suddenly accused of touching some girl’s knee or something, and suddenly have been dropped from their program or something.”
Neeson continued, talking about how he feels that A Prarie Home Companion‘s Garrison Keillor was a victim of the movement. However, his take on the matter got a little troubling when the topic of Dustin Hoffman’s alleged sexual harassment and assault came up, with Neeson claiming that Hoffman groping a woman’s breast was “childhood stuff.”
“The Dustin Hoffman thing, I’m on the fence about that. When you’re doing a play, and you’re with your family — other actors, technicians — 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.”
(Hoffman, it should be noted, has been accused of far more than just breast-groping — multiple women have accused him of sexual assault-y behavior, with one actress saying that he serially sexually harassed and sexually assaulted her when they worked together on a play, including one instance where he tried “to stick his fingers inside” of her. Another woman, a former friend of Hoffman’s daughter, claims that the legendary actor exposed himself to her when she was just 16.)
Neeson continued, speaking about his time as a UNICEF ambassador and the hardships that women around the world endure. And while that should not be disregarded, his choice of words in regards to this particular matter is troubling to many, as the harassment that so many women have faced in the workplace and beyond is a very real problem, and witch hunts, historically, left a lot of innocent women dead and produced no actual witches.
(Via The Late Late Show)