Actor Liam Neeson, known for films like Les Miserables, Taken, and Widows is currently in hot water regarding a statement that he made during a recent interview while on his press run for his new upcoming movie Cold Pursuit.
During his interview with The Independent, Neeson admitted to seeking out violence with a black man because one of his friends was allegedly raped by a black man. The 66-year-old action star began his anecdote by stating, “There’s something primal – God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions. I’ll tell you a story. This is true.”
Neeson recounted that he had just come back from overseas when he found out that a friend of his was raped. “She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson said. “But my immediate reaction was…I asked, did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person.”
“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him,” Neeson further explained.
The actor then went to say that when he thinks back, it was horrible. “And I’ve never admitted that and I’m saying it to a journalist,” he said. “God forbid.”
His co-star, Tom Bateman, who was sitting beside him responded, “Holy s***!”
“It’s awful,” Neeson continued. “But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f*** are you doing,’ you know?”
This morning, the actor sat down with Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts to further explain himself.
“I’m not racist,” Neeson told Roberts. “I went out deliberately into black areas in the city, looking to be set upon. It shocked me and it hurt me … I did seek help, I went to a priest.”
“Luckily no violence occurred,” he continued, adding that he likely would have attacked and possibly killed a black man if he was confronted and that he too could have possibly been killed.
The controversial interviews sparked outrage on social media. NYS Assembly District leader, Cory Provost, one half of hip-hop duo Tanya Morgan, Donwill, and Showtime’s Desus & Mero host, Desus, among others took to Twitter to air out their grievances with Neeson.
Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth.