Culture&Arts

Hollywood star Liam Neeson scoops award in Dublin

Hollywood star Liam Neeson scoops award in Dublin

Liam Neeson has expressed his scepticism about the sexual misconduct allegations now sweeping through Hollywood and the entertainment industry, in an uncomfortable appearance on Irish television.

Neeson had been to the forefront, the President said, in promoting Irish film in the 1990s when the industry in Ireland received a "second wind".

Speaking on The Late Late Show on RTE, the Hollywood A-lister said "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, or something".

Earlier in the interview, Neeson gave the example of the dismissal of USA radio star Garrison Keillor, who was dropped from his long-running local Minnesota radio show.

Liam Neeson in his new movie The Commuter
Liam Neeson in his new movie The Commuter

Actor Liam Neeson has received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from President Michael D. Higgins to honour his contribution to the country and his humanitarian work.

Keillor told a local newspaper following his dismissal: "I put my hand on a woman's bare back. And he immediately pulled his hand back and apologised". "Later, he emailed her because he was concerned - apparently he has a thing about touching and physical intimacy - and again she said, 'Don't worry about it, forget about it". "We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called". "And he was dropped like that".

Speaking on RTÉ's Late Late Show last night, Neeson said that the movement was "healthy" and allegations such as those were "across every industry", but that "the focus was on Hollywood" at the moment.

Asked how he felt about Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, actors who have been accused of multiple counts of sexual misconduct, Neeson said he was "on the fence" about allegations against Hoffman, saying that what he had been accused of was "childhood stuff". I'm not saying I've done similar things like what he did. He was confronted about his alleged behaviour by Last Week Tonight host John Oliver during an extraordinary public exchange in December. So yeah, it's not been a great week for his personal brand.

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