Tom Hanks has called for patience before judging the work of alleged Hollywood abusers.

The 61-year-old actor thinks ''Netflix would go out of business'' if the industry decided to throw out every TV show or movie that was made by someone who had been accused of sexual misconduct - but Tom has called for a patient, considered approach to the issue.

He explained to the New York Post newspaper's Page Six column: ''If you threw out every film or TV show that was made by an a**hole, Netflix would go out of business. I think you do just have ... to wait because this is a long game.''

The Academy Award-winning star admitted it's difficult to separate the art from the artist.

But he also claimed that there are some historic parallels to the current situation.

Tom reflected: ''Picasso was a womanizer, this is not excusing anybody. You just have to wait and see how it settles over the long haul. This is not a sprint, this is a marathon.

''I think work does speak for itself, but character does come into the conversation at some point, but I think that lands over time.''

The issue was thrust firmly into the spotlight earlier this year, following a string of accusations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Since then, a series of big name industry figures have been accused of serious sexual misconduct, prompting claims that such behaviour is rife within Hollywood circles.

Meryl Streep - who has previously spoken out against Weinstein - has compared the industry's dilemma to William Shakespeare.

She shared: ''We still revere Shakespeare.

''I mean we haven't thrown ['The Merchant of Venice'] out and there is no question that that play is antisemitic. There's no question that 'The Taming of The Shrew' is misogynist.

''Everybody has their blank spots, but the genius that understands about the human experiment is worth safeguarding and shouldn't be touched.''