Liam Neeson Called The Me Too Movement A "Witch Hunt" & Twitter Wants To Dunk Him In A Pond

Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images.
In an interview on Ireland's The Late Late Show, Liam Neeson described the Me Too Movement as "a bit of a witch hunt" and, in the spirit of actual witch hunts, Twitter wants to dunk him in a pond and see if he floats.
When asked by the show's host, Ryan Tubridy, to elaborate on his depiction of the movement devoted to helping survivors of sexual violence, the actor cited Garrison Keillor's recent dismissal from Minnesota Public Radio as an example of someone unfairly affected by women coming together to name names. "There are some famous people being suddenly accused of touching some girl's knee, or something, and then suddenly they've been dropped from their program," Neeson said. Keillor has been accused of inappropriate behaviour by someone who worked with him. He approached an Associated Press reporter hours before MPR announced their plans to fire him, not only breaking the news but defending himself. His accusations are unique because neither MPR nor the woman mentioned have shared specifics about the multiple allegations which leaves only one side of the story being told – his own.
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Neeson then commented on the accusations against Dustin Hoffman, specifically those made by actress Kathryn Rossetter, who said that Hoffman groped her during "almost every show" in the 1984 Broadway production of Death By a Salesman. That is not the only accusation levied against the actor. He has also been accused of exposing himself to a minor, sexual harassment, and sexually assaulting three women.
Neeson's retelling of both of the men's accusations diminishes the issue at hand. He praises their work and, in the case of Keillor, leaves no room for the other side of the story. When speaking about Hoffman, he said, "When you’re doing a play and you’re with your family, other actors, you do silly things." Neeson makes a passing assumption that Hoffman might have continued the behaviour out of a theatre tradition of "superstition." Silly things? Women have had their experiences and opinions reduced or placated by the word "silly" for too long. Assault is not silly. Groping is not silly. Unprofessional behavior of any kind is not silly. He then minimized the inappropriate behaviour, calling it "childhood stuff."
Neeson's confirmation bias was, unsurprisingly, not well received.
The Late Late Show / YouTube.
Without skipping a beat, Twitter made it clear that the movement was anything but a witch hunt.
Jen Wright / Twitter.
One commentor pointed out that many of the men accused were subjected to far lighter consequences for their actions, if they face consequences at all. "Woody Allen is still making movies, Dustin Hoffman is still making movies, Harvey Weinstein isn't in jail, James Franco just won a Critics Choice Award," they wrote. The tweet continues by illustrating that the ramifications for women, whether they came forward or not, outweigh the effects the accusations have had on men. "What's a witch hunt is women who lost their jobs, opportunities, housing, and lives for not letting men cop a feel."
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@JadeBurnam / Twitter.
Writer and political commentator Keith Olbermann made a very good point. Neeson's retelling of Garrison Keillor's story was only acknowledging the perspective of Keillor.
Keith Olbermann / Twitter.
Twitter was all too quick to jokingly comment on the lack of similarities between the Me Too movement and the witch hunts that actually occurred in European and early American history. If no one gets dunked in a pond, is it really a witch hunt?
Nicola Thorp / Twitter.
Abby Tomlinson / Twitter.
Also, there is this humorous technicality:
@MissByx / Twitter.
Now that movements like Me Too and Time's Up have gained significant momentum, people have been trying to discredit them and those who have come forward. If there is doubt, then the magnitude of the problem can be questioned rather than addressed.
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