Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Com

Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Comments: "I'm Not A Racist"

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February 7, 2019 13:05 By Fabiosa

Liam Neeson made a candid admission in an interview with The Independent published on Monday and has been under fire since then.

Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Comments: "I'm Not A Racist"Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Comments: "I'm Not A Racist"Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Comments: "I'm Not A Racist"Getty Images / Ideal Image

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In the interview that came before the premiere of the Irish actor’s new revenge movie Cold Pursuit, he recalled one incident from his past, and many have found it disturbing. Neeson said someone close to him was sexually assaulted by a black person and he set out to seek revenge. The incident in question happened decades ago.

Here’s how the actor described it to The Independent:

She handled the situation of the [assault] in the most extraordinary way.

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 [Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers] ‘black b*****d’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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He went on to add that, about a week later, he realized that that kind of thinking was unhealthy, but his admission sparked outrage online. Here are some comments from Twitter:

Neeson defends himself, says he’s "not a racist"

On the day after the interview was published, Neeson appeared on Good Morning America and clarified his comments. Speaking to Robin Roberts, the Taken star explained that he reassessed his thinking after he cooled down a week later.

The actor said:

It shocked me and it hurt me ... I did seek help, I went to a priest.

He also added that he would have had the same reaction, the primal urge to seek revenge if that person had been a white man:

If she had said an Irish or a Scot or a Brit or a Lithuanian it would - I know it would - have had the same effect.

I was trying to show honor, to stand up for my dear friend in this terribly medieval fashion.

The actor admitted that now, he acknowledges that revenge is not the answer and violence begets more violence.

Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Comments: "I'm Not A Racist"Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Comments: "I'm Not A Racist"Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Comments: "I'm Not A Racist"Getty Images / Ideal Image

The real consequences

It appears as though Neeson’s attempts at damage control didn't work as well as he’s expected: The red carpet event ahead of the New York premiere of his new movie scheduled for Tuesday was canceled.

Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Comments: "I'm Not A Racist"Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Comments: "I'm Not A Racist"Liam Neeson Responds To Backlash After His Controversial Comments: "I'm Not A Racist"Getty Images / Ideal Image

It’s not yet clear how the actor’s comments will impact his career, but his admission of his faulty thinking (that he says has changed since then) should also be taken into account before making conclusions.

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