*Liam Neeson has responded to accusations that he’s a racist after confessing that he once wanted to commit a racially-charged murder upon learning that a friend was raped in the past by a Black male.
As we previously reported, while promoting his new film “Cold Pursuit” during an interview with The Independent, the 66-year-old actor, best known as the vengeful father in the “Taken” franchise, recalled the rape and how “primal” he felt following the assault.
“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.”
Neeson then described waiting outside of pubs with a baton (cosh) hoping a “black bastard” would pop off and start an altercation so he could kill him.
OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Liam Neeson: Actor Faces Backlash After Admitting He Wanted to Kill a ‘Black Bastard
NEW THIS MORNING: Just hours after appearing here on @GMA, red carpet interviews and photo ops for Liam Neeson’s latest movie, CANCELLED: https://t.co/WZR5LpmNKO@LinseyDavis reports. pic.twitter.com/OLIxoQa8ZV
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 6, 2019
“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 [in air quotes] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could… kill him,” he continued.
The backlash to his comments was fierce and unforgiving. Now the action is star is denying that he’s a racist.
“I’m not racist, this was 40 years ago,” he said on Good Morning America. ”I was brought up in the north of Ireland. The Troubles. The ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. There was a war going on in the north of Ireland. I had acquaintances who were involved in the trouble. The bigotry. One Catholic would be killed, the next day a protestant would be killed. I grew up surrounded by that, but I was never surrounded by it.”
He added: “We all pretend we’re all politically correct. But sometimes you just scratch the service and you discover this racism and bigotry, and it’s there.”
Liverpool football icon John Barnes is seemingly among the handful of Black folks who are coming to Liam’s defense, saying the actor “deserves a medal” for his comments.
Barnes said that “this is what society has shown him, that black people do, Muslims do – this is what society has wrongly shown him, this is what the media have wrongly portrayed to him”.
He added: “He went on to say he was ashamed and horrified by the way he felt. He’s not ashamed and horrified at wanting to commit the act of revenge, he’s ashamed and horrified because that is what he thought about all black people.”
Barnes also said that Neeson was being subjected to a “witch-hunt.”