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Liam Neeson Calls Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Hollywood Men "A Witch Hunt"

"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."

Posted on January 13, 2018, at 5:31 p.m. ET

Actor Liam Neeson is the latest male actor to be quizzed about the the wave of high-profile sexual harassment allegations sweeping Hollywood and the media, calling it "a bit of a witch hunt" in an interview on Irish television Friday night.

Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images

The actor from Love Actually and Taken was interviewed on RTE's The Late Late Show.

"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," said Neeson.

Liam Neeson on the wave of sexual harassment allegations against high profile men in Hollywood #latelate

He then specifically mentioned Garrison Keillor, the longtime radio host of A Prairie Home Companion, who was fired from Minnesota Public Radio in November.

Neeson called Keillor an "extraordinary writer, radio star" before recounting the story that Keillor told publicly about an incident involving a colleague that was supposedly why the radio host was fired. "He put her hand to his back, like this ... and she had a blouse on and it was her bare back. I don't know what the blouse was like. And he immediately took his hand away and apologized," said Neeson.

Jim Mone / AP

In a statement given to the Star Tribune in November, Keillor explained his take on the incident:

"I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized," he said. "I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called."

Neither Minnesota Public Radio nor the woman involved have come forward with any information about the inappropriate behavior that resulted in Keillor's dismissal.

When Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy tried to shift the conversation with Neeson by saying "and yet there's the other side of things," the actor replied, "Weinstein," but did not elaborate further. "Kevin Spacey? Dustin Hoffman?" asked Tubridy.


"The Dustin Hoffman thing — I'm on the fence about that," said Neeson.

Eight women have accused actor Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct, including two women who said Hoffman exposed himself to them when they were teenagers.

Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Actor Kathryn Rossetter said Hoffman groped her and inserted his fingers in her vagina while they were performing in a play together in 1983.

Another woman, Melissa Kester, who worked with Hoffman on the 1987 action comedy Ishtar, said he sexually assaulted her by putting his fingers inside her while they worked together in a voice recording booth.

A third woman also said Hoffman stuck his fingers inside her vagina without her consent at a party for Ishtar.

Neeson brushed off the allegations against Hoffman as "childhood stuff" and just part of "silly things" that happen in the theater world.

Via YouTube

"Because when you're doing a play and you're with your family — other actors, technicians — you do silly things," Neeson said. "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. But it's childhood stuff," he said.

After a pause, Neeson added: "But there is a movement happening."

"It's got to be healthy," Tubridy replied.

"It's healthy, and it's across every industry," Neeson responded. "The focus seems to be on Hollywood at the minute, but its across every industry," he added, noting reports of female farm laborers being sexual harassed.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.