Actor Liam Neeson has been catching hell for the past several weeks over comments he made during an interview with The Independent, a British newspaper, for his latest film ‘Cold Pursuit’. When asked if he ever tapped into a revenge mentality, Neeson recalled an incident in which he wanted to kill “some black bastard” after finding out his close friend was brutally raped over 40 years ago.
Shockingly, Neeson said, “I went up and down areas with a cosh (a club), 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.”
The comments sparked immediate outrage online, prompting Neeson to appear on Good Morning America the next day in an attempt to clarify them. During his interview with Robin Roberts, Neeson emphasized that his feelings came from a “primal urge” and stated, “I’m not racist.” He also shared some greater context, noting he was “brought up in the Troubles,” a violent period in Northern Ireland.
In an official statement, Liam Neeson apologized for his previous remarks, stating, “Over the last several weeks, I have reflected on and spoken to a variety of people who were hurt by my impulsive recounting of a brutal rape of a dear female friend nearly 40 years ago and my unacceptable thoughts and actions at that time in response to this crime. The horror of what happened to my friend ignited irrational thoughts that do not represent the person I am.”
His statement continued, “In trying to explain those feelings today, I missed the point and hurt many people at a time when language is so often weaponized and an entire community of innocent people are targeted in acts of rage. What I failed to realize is that this is not about justifying my anger all those years ago, it is also about the impact my words have today. I was wrong to do what I did. I recognize that, although the comments I made do not reflect, in any way, my true feelings nor me, they were hurtful and divisive. I profoundly apologize.”
How do you feel about Liam Neeson’s apology?