Taken and Star Wars actor Liam Neeson expressed views critical of the #MeToo movement on Irish television’s The Late Late Show, stating that the culture of accusing men of sexual harassment and the subsequent assumption of guilt may be harming innocent people.
“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 program or something,” he said, adding that the accusations—some of which are baseless—are tantamount to a witch hunt.
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Neeson cited the case of Garrison Keillor, who was dismissed from Minnesota Public Radio after allegations that he sexually harassed a woman were made public. He relayed Keillor’s claim in the Star Tribune that his “inappropriate behavior” was limited to touching a woman’s bare back after she told him a sad story and he offered her a hug without asking first.
Neeson explained how Keillor, in his version of the events, apologized for the faux pas and was told by the alleged victim that it wasn’t an issue—until he was contacted months later by her lawyers when the #MeToo movement first kicked off.
The actor condemned Kevin Spacey, who is facing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and attempted child rape, but said he was undecided on the claims against fellow actor Dustin Hoffman.
“The Dustin Hoffman thing, I’m on the fence about that,” Neeson said. “When you’re doing a play and you’re with your family – other actors, technicians – 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. I’m not saying I’ve done similar things to what [Hoffman] apparently did but it’s childhood stuff.”
Hoffman has been accused of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and exposing himself to an underage girl. The accusations stem from incidents that occurred during a theatrical production in the 1980s, in which he allegedly groped a young woman’s breasts.
Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/Francois Durand.