Liam Neeson has sparked a backlash after claiming women coming forward with stories of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry have started a “witch hunt”.
The Hollywood actor also dismissed some of the allegations made against the likes of Dustin Hoffman as “childhood stuff”.
Speaking on RTE’s ‘The Late Late Show’, he said: “There is a bit of a witch hunt happening.
“There’s some people, famous people, who have been suddenly accused of touching some girl’s knee, or something, and suddenly they’re being dropped from their programme, or something.”
He continued: “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,” he said. “I’m not saying I’ve done similar things to what [Dustin Hoffman] apparently did… but it’s childhood stuff.”
His comments were met with a wave of negative reactions online:
Dustin Hoffman was accused of sexually harassing writer Anna Graham Hunter while in a production of ‘Death Of A Salesman’ in 1984.
In response to the allegations, he said in a statement: “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation.
“I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”
He has also denied assault allegations made by Melissa Kester and an anonymous woman.
Liam’s comments came in the week that saw women in Hollywood showing their support for the Time’s Up initiative, by wearing black at the Golden Globes.
Time’s Up follows the rise of the #MeToo hashtag, which saw people sharing their experiences of sexual harassment on social media, in response to the allegations made about various men in Hollywood in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
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