Neeson says Hollywood experiencing 'a bit of a witch hunt'

Hollywood star Liam Neeson scoops award in Dublin

"It's a bit of a witch-hunt", he said when asked what he thought about the allegations of serial sexual assault in the industry, reported The Guardian.

Neeson, who is in Dublin to promote The Commuter, his new film, said that he was "very humbled and proud to be Irish" on receiving the accolade and that he would continue to "fly the flag for Irish arts".

Discussing the allegations against Hoffman, Neeson said, "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".

When Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy namechecked Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman as examples of other men who have been accused of inappropriate behaviour, Neeson appeared unconvinced.

In response to the allegations made by writer Anna Graham Hunt, who claimed Hoffman groped her on the set of Death of a Salesman in 1985 when she was 17, he said: "I have the utmost respect for women and feel awful that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation".

However, Neeson distanced himself from Hoffman's alleged behaviour, saying: "I'm not saying I've done similar things to what he's done".

"There is a movement happening".

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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.

Neeson continued, speaking about his time as a UNICEF ambassador and the hardships that women around the world endure. "And I get sent facts and figures and stuff - and if you've 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".

People took to Twitter to voice their opinions, with some condemning Neeson for his comments. His attorney called the accusations "defamatory falsehoods". A witch hunt never ends.

One user agreed with him, saying "We can't instantly shun someone when they've only been accused". A grope for good luck as it were.

And @ToastHawk1 added: "Everybody is so quick to condemn Liam Neeson".

‏But @RealSarahFlynn wrote: "You mightn't like it but at least he's authentic and I don't think calling elements of it a witch hunt is that terribly untrue".

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