Liam Neeson Sparks Backlash After Saying Sexual Harassment Allegations Have Started A ‘Witch Hunt’

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.”

Liam Neeson on the wave of sexual harassment allegations against high profile men in Hollywood
Dear Liam Neeson, until you’ve been in the position of feeling completely vulnerable over the fear of being groped, shut up. What a disappointed he turned out to be. ??‍♀️#MeToo#LateLateShow

January 13, 2018
Liam Neeson is cancelled. A witch hunt is what women have endured in almost every industry for decades if not centuries. Not to mention the literal witch hunts where women were murdered for no reason. It is not holding men accountable for their own disgusting actions.

January 13, 2018
I was literally just about to tweet “Liam Neeson seems like such a nice, normal person” and then he referred to the #MeToo movement as a bit of a ‘witch-hunt’. #latelate

January 12, 2018
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. A witch hunt never ends. We just want men to stop abusing their power.

January 13, 2018
This is a staff announcement: Can Liam get in the bin please. That’s Liam, to the bin. Thank you.
Disappointed by Liam Neeson’s comments. Reinforcing the idea that inappropriately touching women was the norm and therefore ok. The reference to a ‘witch hunt’ also irked me. #LateLateShow

January 12, 2018
So, a few guys in #Hollywood are starting to feel a little uncomfortable? Unsafe? Attacked? Powerless? Well, multiply all of your little man feelings by 100 & you MIGHT begin to understand how every ingenue who has ever crossed your path has felt.

January 13, 2018
Which is worse – him saying sexual harassment allegations are a witch hunt or claiming it’s ok to grope a colleague if it’s part of a theatre superstition?
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.