Academy Award nominee, Liam Neeson, is facing extensive criticism from social media users over a recent interview. In the interview, Neeson admitted that he once fantasised about murdering a black person after a close friend of his was raped.
Promoting his new film “Cold Pursuit”, Neeson’s comments have prompted angry backlash from a variety social media commentators. Neeson has admitted that the fantasies happened a long time ago.
Following the original publication of the interview, the 66-year-old actor made an appearance on Good Morning America to insist he isn’t a racist. The acclaimed actor, who originates from Northern Ireland, has described the feelings at the time as a ‘primal urge.’ After discovering that his friend’s attacker was black, he describes that he would stalk areas with a cosh, hoping a black person would attack him. This was so he could fight back and cause serious harm.
Neeson has also confessed that he subsequently sought help for his views, saying he sought counsel from a priest. On top of this, Neeson, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Stephen Spielberg’s acclaimed World War II drama, “Schindler’s List”, has suggested that there needs to be a larger, more inclusive public debate to end racism.
Unfortunately for the Irish star, the New York red carpet event for his latest film has been cancelled. It was pulled a mere two hours before it was scheduled to happen. Kehinde Andrews, a professor of black studies at Birmingham City University, suggested to the BBC that she believed Neeson’s comments were both inappropriate and offensive. This has been worsened by the fact that he has been promoting his film at the same time, which has been labelled distasteful.
On the other hand, John Barnes, a former England footballer, defended Neeson’s comments on an interview with the BBC. He commended Neeson for knowing his beliefs were wrong and opening up a dialogue into the matter.