Liam Neeson apologizes once again for racially charged statement
Liam Neeson apologizes for ‘impulsive’ racial comment.
Actor Liam Neeson is apologizing again after sharing a story about him previously searching for any Black man to attack with a nightstick, following the rape of a close friend.
According to USA Today, Neeson said sharing his story was “impulsive” and called his words “unacceptable” as well as “hurtful and divisive.”
The statement in full reads:
“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. 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.”
Neeson originally made the racially charged statement while interviewing with British newspaper The Independent, while promoting for his film Cold Pursuit in February. He told the publication “some time ago” he returned home from an overseas trip, and learned that a loved one had been raped by a black man and Neeson went looking for revenge.
There’s something primal – God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions,” Neeson said.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson recalled. “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 (nightstick), 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.”
Remorsefully Neeson said, “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” he told The Independent.
Although the Taken actor felt bad for his actions, the backlash that followed his recollection of the story, caused the cancellation of the red carpet for the premiere of Cold Pursuit. Neeson apologized and clarified his remarks on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” saying, “I’m not a racist.”