Liam Neeson says there is a "witch hunt" in sexual misconduct allegations

President Michael D Higgins presents Liam Neeson with a Distinguished Service for the Irish Abroad award at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin. Laura Hutton  PA Wire

Liam Neeson says there is a "witch hunt" in sexual misconduct allegations

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".

Neeson brought up the case of American radio personality Garrison Keillor, who was sacked from his job with Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of inappropriate behavior.

Asked about Dustin Hoffman, who, among other allegations, was accused by former co-star Karen Rossetter of "nightly sexual harassment" during a theatre run of Death of a Salesman in the mid-80s, Neeson said he was "on the fence about that".

"When you're doing a play and you're with your "family", other actors and technicians, you do silly things. If you don't do it every night you think it's going to jinx the show", the Irish star said.

"The Dustin Hoffman thing, I'm on the fence about that", said Neeson after a pause. Apparently, he touched another girl's breast and stuff. "But it's childhood stuff what he was doing", Neeson said.

Neeson, who has starred in such films as the Taken series and Love Actually, made the remarks during an interview with the Irish broadcaster RTE.

"There is a movement happening".

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That's why 300 women in Hollywood created the Time's Up movement for the objective of supporting victims of sexual harassment and abuse outside the industry, particularly women who work in low-paying jobs that leave them more vulnerable to abuse.

Speaking about the wave of allegations and the emergence of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Neeson acknowledged that it was "healthy" for the entertainment industry to face up to the problems which have been laid bare by the scandals. "The focus seems to be on Hollywood at the minute", he said. "But it's across every industry", he continued.

"Liam Neeson: witch hunt is a term for false accusations against the vulnerable by the powerful, so it's not an accurate description of holding privileged men in power accountable for their actions". I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me ...

A note to men in Hollywood: You don't get to call this a witch hunt.

Neeson, who is from Ballymena, was awarded for his work with Unicef and for being a world renowned actor.

Hollywood movie star Liam Neeson was in the Aras today meeting with President Michael D Higgins. I really like Liam, but just, no.,"social media user Nicola Brennan wrote".

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