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'It hasn't gone far enough': Gabriel Byrne is winning praise for his comments on #MeToo

Including some words for fellow actor Liam Neeson.

GABRIEL BYRNE WAS a guest on the Late Late, following his Lifetime Achievement Award at the IFTAs.

'Louder Than Bombs' Photocall, Cannes Film Festival 2015 Source: DPA/PA Images

In the interview with Ryan, he spoke candidly about his battle with alcoholism.

One day I woke up and I said to myself: ‘If I don’t stop this, I am going to die.”
I drank to escape from myself and to escape from the pressure that I felt around me. But I knew that I could never handle it. It was not a good thing for me to do.”

Gabriel went on to say he considered his Lifetime Achievement Award to be less about the work he’s done and more about “the victories and achievements of a life”, one of which he considers to be conquering his drinking problem.

He also spoke about his current relationship, and what it was like to become a father again for the third time at 67 years-old.

When you are in love with some body, the expression of that love naturally leads to a discussion about a child.
It’s a bittersweet experience … I’m very much more aware of time at this stage of my life. At the same time, our relationship to time, it is multi-faceted and extremely complex. When you bring a child into the world, you bring them into the world with love.”

People were impressed with this show of humanity.

However, it’s his comments on the #MeToo movement that have everyone talking.

When asked about Harvey Weinstein – the catalyst of the discussion surrounding sexual misconduct within the industry – Byrne called him “a ferocious bully”.

What happened to those unfortunate women happened behind closed doors, so nothing could be proved. It was ‘he said, she said’.”

He said that he felt people didn’t turn a blind eye to the indiscretions, but rather that people did not fully understand the scale of what was going on.

Because Harvey had such incredible power … Harvey was allowed to continue. But nobody really knew about the violence of his sexual behaviour.”

He also had some words for fellow actor Liam Neeson, who as a previous guest on the show, said the #MeToo movement was ‘going too far’.

I love Liam … Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But I would say the movement hasn’t gone far enough. The pendulum has been so far in the opposite direction for so long.
When they say ‘witchhunt’ … I don’t like that word. People who are saying it’s gone too far, I think it’s a way of trying to stop it, to try and keep it contained.”

He concluded by saying the women’s movement needs to be resurgent.

If this movement dies out with simply #MeToo, I don’t think it’s going to do a great deal of good in the long run. We’re talking about human rights.”

You can watch the full interview here.

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