Austrian director denounces MeToo movement

FILE - In this May 20, 2012 file photo director Michael Haneke speaks during a press conference for Love at the 65th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France. In an interview with Austrian paper Kurier Haneke voiced concerns on the 'puritanism' that came with the #metto-movement. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, file)

Austrian film director Michael Haneke, an Academy Award and two-time Palme d'Or winner, has compared the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal to a "witch hunt" that has ushered in a "new, men-hating puritanism."

BERLIN — Austrian film director Michael Haneke, an Academy Award and two-time Palme d'Or winner, has compared the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal to a "witch hunt" that has ushered in a "new, men-hating puritanism."

The director of "Amour" and "The White Ribbon" told Austrian daily Kurier that the #MeToo movement's "hysteria of prematurely denouncing" others was "disgusting."

He said what especially bothered him was the "complete spitefulness without any reflection and the blind rage, which is not based on facts but ... destroys the lives of people whose crimes have not been proven."

Haneke said, "people are been killed in the media, lives and careers destroyed."

Several European film figures have expressed doubt about the American #MeToo movement including film star Catherine Deneuve and actor Liam Neeson.

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