Liam Nee­son calls sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions in a ‘ bit of a witch hunt’

The Asian Age - - Front Page -

Los An­ge­les: Liam Nee­son has de­fended veteran ac­tor Dustin Hoff­man, say­ing that the cam­paign against sex­ual ha­rass­ment in Hol­ly­wood is be­com­ing “a bit of a witch hunt”.

Mr Hoff­man has been ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct by mul­ti­ple women he worked with.

The ac­tor had of­fered an apol­ogy to the first woman, who in­terned on the set of his 1985 TV film Death of a Sales­man.

In a state­ment, he said the be­hav­iour was “not re­flec­tive of who I am.” But he has not com­mented on the other ac­cu­sa­tions.

In an in­ter­view with an Ir­ish talk show, Mr Nee­son said, “There is a bit of a witch hunt hap­pen­ing, too. 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 pro­gramme or some­thing.”

Mr Nee­son specif­i­cally spoke about the al­le­ga­tions against Gar­ri­son Keil­lor, who was fired last year from Min­nesota Pub­lic Ra­dio for “in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour”.

He said he was “on the fence” in re­la­tion to some of the al­le­ga­tions that have emerged against Mr Hoff­man and ap­peared to dis­miss breast grop­ing as “child­hood stuff”.

“The Dustin Hoff­man thing, I’m on the fence about that. Be­cause when you’re do­ing a play and you’re with your fam­ily, other ac­tors, tech­ni­cians, you do silly things. 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 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. But it’s child­hood stuff what he was do­ing,” Nee­son said.

Mr Nee­son, how­ever, ac­knowl­edged that the wider move­ment against ha­rass­ment was “healthy” as it is not just con­fined to show busi­ness.

“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,” Mr Nee­son said.

The Taken ac­tor was slammed on Twit­ter for his com­ments.

“Liam Nee­son: witch hunt is a term for false ac­cu­sa­tions against the

The Dustin Hoff­man thing, I’m on the fence about that... Ap­par­ently, he touched another girl’s breast and stuff. But it’s child­hood stuff what he was do­ing — Liam Nee­son, Ac­tor

vul­ner­a­ble by the pow­er­ful, so it’s not an ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of hold­ing priv­i­leged men in power ac­count­able for their ac­tions. A witch hunt never ends. We just want men to stop abus­ing their power,” wrote one of the users.

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