Liam Neeson comments: Must action stars oppose gun control?
'Taken 3' star Liam Neeson supports gun control. Is it hypocritical for actors who wield guns on film to oppose them in real life?
Sam Urdank/20th Century Fox/AP
Liam Neeson has a very particular set of skills - skills he’s acquired over a very long career – that made him so convincing as a pro-gun character in the Taken series of films, that one gun company is boycotting him for not staying in character off screen.
“First off, my thoughts and prayers and my heart are with the deceased, and certainly with all of France, yesterday. I’ve got a lot of dear friends in Paris. There’s too many [expletive] guns out there. Especially in America,” Neeson told media during an event in Dubai. “I think the population is like, 320 million? There’s over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a [same expletive again] disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.’”
That didn’t sit well with one gun company that has supplied props to the Taken film franchise.
In response, Para USA, which has provided firearms for Neeson’s latest film is calling the star a hypocrite for his pro-gun control statements to the media and is calling for an industry-wide boycott against him:
“PARA USA regrets its decision to provide firearms for use in the film "Taken 3". 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,” the company posted on its Facebook page. “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. #America #2A”
The response to Para’s post was largely unprintable due to negative invective directed at the actor.
However, Facebook user Linda Walker posted, “Awesome, thank you for taking this stand.”
One or two responses questioned why the gun manufacturer had not done its homework on the widely outspoken actor prior to committing to supply weapons for his films.
Para did not respond to requests for interview.
Twitter fans also shot off their beaks calling Neeson a hypocrite for his statements.
According to a piece in Guns & Ammo Magazine from February 2012, this is not a new issue, as many action heroes who hit the screen with all guns blazing have come out as pro gun-control in their private lives.
Also, the Movie Firearms Database has a long list of weapons filmography on which weapons were seen in the hands of actors, including those mentioned in the Guns & Ammo story who in their private lives support gun-control.
Anti-gun action stars listed by G&A from that issue include: Kevin Bacon who often pairs firearms with his characters; Mark “Marky Mark” Whalberg whose rapper career was popular among those living the gun culture; Danny DeVito often wields a Smith & Wesson Model 19 Snubnose in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia;” Matt Damon who played a.k.a. action hero character Jason Bourne; Sean Connery who played James Bond who famously packed a Walther PPK and Rambo/Expendables 1-3 star and producer Sylvester Stallone.