PARA USA, the firearms manufacturer that provided the guns for the “Taken” series, is calling for an industry boycott of Liam Neeson films following Neeson’s recent comments on the United States' gun culture.
Speaking at a press tour in Dubai last week in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Neeson criticized the high levels of gun ownership in the US.
Neeson told Gulf News: “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 guns out there. Especially in America. I think the population is like, 320 million? There’s over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.’”
In response, PARA USA said, “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.”
PARA severed ties with Neeson and is calling for other manufacturers to do the same.
“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.”
In a Facebook post, the company said it regrets providing firearms for the blockbuster series, which has so far grossed over $750 million worldwide.
Neeson has been long outspoken about his thoughts on gun control, and they differ from those of his character, former CIA operative Bryan Mills, who is practically glued to a gun throughout the series.
Neeson has dismissed any links between violent movies and actual crime, however, and he likens the violence in the "Taken" series to cartoon violence.
"I grew up watching cowboy movies, loved doing that [gun gesture] with my fingers, 'Bang, bang, you're dead!' I didn't end up a killer," he said.
"A character like Bryan Mills going out with guns and taking revenge: it's fantasy. It's in the movies, you know?"