#MeToo turning into a 'witch-hunt' - Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson.
Liam Neeson. Photo credit: Getty

Actor Liam Neeson is copping flak for his latest comments on Hollywood's sexual harassment scandals.

The 65-year-old actor - best known for his roles in Taken and Star Wars - told Irish TV's The Late Late Show he thinks the #MeToo movement is turning into a "bit of a witch-hunt".

"There are some famous people being suddenly accused of touching some girl's knee or something and suddenly they're being dropped from their programme or something," he said, before defending Dustin Hoffman.

"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. You do silly things.

"It becomes superstitious - if you don't do it every night you think it's going to jinx the show. I think Dustin Hoffman was... I'm not saying I've done similar things like what he did, apparently he touched another girl's breast and stuff. It's childhood stuff."

Hoffman has been accused of groping actresses when he was on the set of Death of a Salesman in the 1980s.

Neeson's comments echo those of French actress Catherine Deneuve, who said men are being "punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone's knee or try to steal a kiss".

"Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not," an open letter signed by Deneuve and dozens of other actresses read.

Neeson went on to defend the wider #MeToo movement, calling it "healthy".

"There is a movement happening...it's healthy and it's across every industry. The focus seems to be on Hollywood at the minute. But it's across every industry.

"I'm a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador, and a very proud one. And I get sent facts and figures and stuff. 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."

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