Liam Neeson under fire after defending Dustin Hoffman, opposing #MeToo

Liam Neeson, pictured in April 2015. Pablo Cuadra / Getty Images

Liam Neeson is being criticized on social media after admitting he’s “on the fence” as to whether to believe the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct that have been made against Dustin Hoffman, describing Hollywood’s #MeToo movement as “a bit of a witch hunt.”

Speaking with Ireland’s The Late Late Show to promote his latest film, The Commuter, Neeson was asked by host Ryan Tubridy about current efforts in Hollywood to protest sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.

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“There is a bit of a witch hunt happening too,” said Neeson. “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.”

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As an example, Neeson pointed to Minnesota radio host Garrison Keillor, who was fired from his long-running “A Prairie Home Companion” over allegations of improper conduct.

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“I was reading recently about him, and he was listening to a sad story of a female friend of his, and the end of this, he put his hand to her back… it was her bare back. He immediately took his hand away and apologized,” Neeson said. “She said don’t worry about it, forget about it… He emailed her because he was concerned… Months later, he gets a call from a lawyer… saying he inappropriately touched this lady, and he was dropped, like that.”

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While Neeson conceded that the allegations made against Harvey Weinstein were “serious,” he had different feelings about 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… you do silly things. It becomes kind of superstitious, if you don’t do it every night you think it’s going to jinx the show,” he said.

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“I think Dustin Hoffman… I’m not saying I’ve done similar things, apparently he touched a girl’s breast, but it’s childhood stuff,” he added.

Neeson’s comments sparked anger on social media, with numerous Twitter users blasting the actor for his defence of Hoffman and description of #MeToo as “a witch hunt.”

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