Spike Lee said he doesn’t intend to hire Liam Neeson for any upcoming movie projects even though he once considered securing the actor for a job on one of his films.
A film offer from Lee is out the window following the uproar after the Cold Pursuit actor admitted to having the desire to kill a “Black bastard” when a friend opened up and told him she was raped by a Black man, the Daily Mail reports.
Lee, who is nominated for a “Best Director” Oscar for BlacKKKLansman, said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that Neeson’s comments were “bad all round.”
“Oh yeah, I don’t understand what he was doing. It’s a crazy, crazy bizarre world we live in. I’ve not spoken to Liam. I don’t know why he did it but he did it so he’s going through it now.
“I just saw the clip, one of the clips on his apology tour, and he did not look happy.”
Lee said he’s got a film that he plans on securing financing for in the future that he wanted Neeson for, but now says:
“I tried to cast him one time. And so far, we haven’t got the money for that film but one day we will. But I don’t think I’ll be going back to him. He’s too old now. That was a long time ago.”
Neeson explained in an interview that he was on a rampage to avenge his friend.
“I went up and down the streets with a cosh [bludgeon], 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,” he said.
Lee wondered what Neeson was thinking to make such a career-ending mistake.
“I heard he was promoting his new movie about revenge. I know he is Catholic. Was this a form of confession? I don’t know you’d have to ask him,” he said.
“People have to understand history. The Ku Klux Klan was formed to ‘save’ white, Southern womanhood …
“Who knows how many innocent black men have been murdered, castrated lynched or harmed or spent time in jail only because a white woman said, ‘That black man raped her’.”
Lee was nominated for the BAFTAs for his work on BlacKkKlansman, which received five nominations.
“This is the first time I’ve been nominated. I’ve never been nominated before, ever.”
There are those who have spoken in defense of Neeson. His Widows co-star Michelle Rodriguez stepped up to side with the actor but eventually apologized after heavy criticism supporting Neeson after he admitted to the racist murder fantasy.
“I want to deeply apologize for my recent choice of words, and poor use of example. In a pressure-filled situation, I defended a friend in the wrong way,” Rodriguez wrote.