In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month, in an interview with Gulf News, Liam Neeson shared his views about gun control in the U.S. and around the world.
“There’s just too many fucking guns out there,” He continued, “Especially in America. I think the population is like, 320 million? There’s over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America.”
In response, PARA USA, the company supplying guns to the Taken franchise, specifically the most recent Taken 3, have chosen to cut ties with the films and Neeson personally. They have also reportedly urged other gun suppliers to do the same to any project involving Neeson.
“While the film itself is entertaining, comments made by its Irish-born star during press junkets reflect a cultural and factual ignorance that undermines support of the Second Amendment and American liberties.
“We will no longer provide firearms for use in films starring Liam Neeson and ask that our friends and partners in Hollywood refrain from associating our brand and products with his projects. Further, we encourage our partners and friends in the firearms industry to do the same.”
Am I the only person to be disturbed by this? Is this actually a GUN company holding Hollywood to ransom over the freely shared opinions of one its actors? And actor, who was literally talking about the murders of the satirical journalists who were fighting for a free press and died as a result of what they had chosen to print?
Are gun suppliers so afraid of the Irish actor that they would figuratively hold a gun to the heads of his bosses to try to end his career because he had an opinion which differs from theirs? Now, I do accept that in the real world Neeson should have been a little more tactful about expressing anti-gun rhetoric whilst starring in the third installment of a gun-toting, violent franchise which began in Paris of all places, but hypocrisy aside, he is entitled to his opinion. But it appears that this United States manufacturer disagrees. It would seem that they value the 2nd Amendment to the point that it’s better to bare arms than voice an opinion. I their eyes the gun/sword SHOULD be mightier than the pen it would seem.
Hardly the best example of American idealism and it should surly be THIS company which is boycotted, not Neeson, his films or producers.
Freedom of expression is paramount in the free world and if gun-toting or gun manufacturing maniacs think that people should be silenced, then they are sadly mistaken. Neeson is RIGHT. But even if he is disagreed with, he should not be chastised for airing his views.
The arms industry should be ashamed of itself, and also for the way they have treated Neeson and co. too.