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Not everybody was impressed with Liam Neeson's comments about #MeToo on the Late Late Show

People need to stop referring to this whole thing as a “witch hunt”.

PastedImage-96366 Source: RTÉ

AS WE ALL know, Liam Neeson made an appearance on the Late Late Show last night.

Everything was going grand, but then Ryan Tubridy questioned him on Oprah Winfrey and they whole ‘revolution’ in Hollywood. Ryan asked “Is it long overdue, and are you happy to see things moving the way they’re moving?”

Neeson responded:

Yes. There is a bit of a witch hunt happening, too.

That might be a little dramatic. Let’s step back and remember what a ‘witch hunt’ actually is. Historians reckon that witch hunts resulted in the deaths of between 50,000 – 200,000 people. The majority of these people were women because witch hunts were rooted in misogyny.

What is happening in Hollywood is not a ‘witch hunt’. There is no comparison.

Nobody is going to be killed for the simple fact that they’re men, like women actually were during the witch hunts. The worst consequences for anyone accused of sexual harassment or abuse in Hollywood is just some unpaid leave from the industry for a little while.

Look at Harvey Weinstein – he still has people coming up to him in restaurants asking for selfies, apologising for what happened and telling him that his work is really appreciated, regardless of what he has allegedly done.

Salma Hayek Accuses Weinstein of Sexual Assault Source: Henry McGee

Anyone who has ever reported sexual harassment in the work place, or sexual abuse in any other situation will tell you that it’s really not as simple as walking into a building and saying “This person touched my leg” and getting whoever they like fired. Rapists can admit their crimes in Irish courts and still serve no prison time.

Less than half of all instances of sexual violence in Ireland are reported to formal authorities. Perpetrators of sexual violence are less likely to face consequences for their crimes than people who have committed assault or robberies. In every 1,000 cases of rape in America, only 6 rapists are incarcerated. Only 57 reports of 1,000 result in an arrest.

The vast majority of people accused of sexual violence, never mind sexual harassment, walk away scot-free. That’s just a fact.

Neeson went on to say that he was “on the fence” about the accusations made against Dustin Hoffman.

PastedImage-40159 Source: RTÉ

I think Dustin Hoffman was… I’m not saying I’ve done similar things like what he did – apparently touching a girl’s breast and stuff – but it’s childhood stuff.

A strange comment, considering the fact that Dustin Hoffman was a grown adult when he allegedly “regularly groped and harassed” Kathrynn Rossetter, who worked with him on a Broadway production in 1984.

While she was on stage, she says that every night Hoffman would slide his hand up her thigh while she was in a position where she could not say anything to him without interrupting the play. Rossetter says that this escalated into him digitally penetrating her during a show. At this time, Hoffman was 47 years old. That’s not “childhood stuff.”

IFP's 27th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards - New York Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

In 1985, a year later, Anna Graham Hunter says she was repeatedly groped by Hoffman when she was a 17-year-old intern working on Death of a Salesman. Around this time, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis also says she was sexually propositioned by him during a meeting.

Hoffman was also accused of exposing himself to his 16-year-old daughter’s friend in a hotel room in 1980. Again, if these accusations were found to be true, “childhood stuff” wouldn’t really hold up in court, because he was a middle-aged man.

If the video won’t play, click here.

If you think Liam Neeson’s right, and you’re really, sincerely concerned about whether or not you can speak to a woman without being accused of sexual harassment, maybe it’s time to embrace consent classes and stop dismissing them as pointless.

Many people on Twitter were quite disappointed with Neeson’s comments.

neeson Source: Niall/Twitter

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Kelly Earley

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