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Director Michael Haneke calls #MeToo movement "disgusting"

Director Michael Haneke during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 22, 2017.

Andreas Rentz / Getty Images

BERLIN — Austrian film director Michael Haneke is not the first person to denounce the #MeToo movement, but the Academy Award and two-time Palme d'Or winner might be one of its most unapologetic critics. Haneke did not mince words when he called the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal 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. Deneuve was part of a group of women in France who said that men should still have the right to seduce, while Neeson said that he had doubts about whether Garrison Keillor and Dustin Hoffman sexually harassed women.