Actor Liam Neeson tries to clarify statements he made about planning to kill a random black person after his friend's rape. However, his clarification still sounds racist AF. More inside...
If you’re Liam Neeson fans like us, his latest admission is disheartening at best.
The Irish actor is currently promoting his new film, Cold Pursuit. When he was asked about how he channels the necessary rage for his role as a father whose son was killed by a drug gang, his response - one that he says is an admission he’s never before revealed - now has everybody asking some questions.
During a recent interview with The Independent, Liam revealed he considered carrying out a racist murder years ago after someone close to him was allegedly raped by a black man.
“I’ll tell you a story. This is true,” the actor can be heard saying to journalist Clémence Michallon in the taped interview, explaining that the woman—who he didn’t name—told him that she had been raped by a black man while he was overseas.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” he went on. “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 cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody—I’m ashamed to say that—and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [making air quotes with his fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”
Take a listen below:
Liam Neeson: ‘I walked the streets with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by a “black b******” so that I could kill him’ - Listen to his full comments in our exclusive interview https://t.co/jdWzfip1rIpic.twitter.com/Ma14TG8pNj
— The Independent (@Independent) February 4, 2019
The Taken star went on to say that it took him a week or two to get over his impulse. He appeared to realize during the interview how shocking his admission was. He said that it “was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that and I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid.”
He says he eventually learned a lesson from it:
“It’s awful,” Neeson went on. “But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f*ck are you doing,’ you know?… I come from a society—I grew up in Northern Ireland in the Troubles—and, you know, I knew a couple of guys that died on hunger strike, and I had acquaintances who were very caught up in the Troubles, and I understand that need for revenge, but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing, and Northern Ireland’s proof of that.”
He added: “All this stuff that’s happening in the world, the violence, is proof of that, you know. But that primal need, I understand.” End quote
Liam says moviegoers get to love out their primal desire of hurting people through movies. And then they leave satisfied and don’t want to now do it in their real lives.
“I think audience members live to see [that violence on screen],” Neeson said. “They can kind of live vicariously through it. People say, ‘Yeah but violence in films makes people want to go out and kill people.’ I don’t believe that at all. I think the average moviegoer thinks, ‘Yeah, punch him. Punch him.’ And they get satisfaction out of seeing somebody else enact it, and they leave the theatre and they feel satiated in some way.” End quote
Um, wow. Sounds like a dog whistle to racists and other horrible people who live out their gross fantasies by watching them on screen. Reminds us of that Mandingo fight scene in Django Unchained.
Liam also spoke to Robin Roberts today on “GMA”, explaining why he’s not racist. He said he did seek out help - from a priest - after realizing how shockingly dark his thoughts were. He also claimed that if his friend said the attacker was white, he would have tried to seek out a person fitting that description. Oh?
Sounds to us like the rage is still there, for Liam and others, and is simply suppressed because it’s not socially acceptable (well, in a non Trump world it's not) to walk around admitting to wanting to kill blacks because one black person did something to a loved one.
Is it “behind him” or “in his past” if he admits to tapping into the rage - which apparently is still there to tap into - for the role? Is it in his past, or did he simply learn how to suppress it, which would be two completely different things.
Applauding someone for admitting their racism - because yes, hating and targeting a specific race for any reason is literally a definition of racism - and the claiming to have moved past it is so....basic. We’re really applauding someone for choosing to be a decent human being instead of actively seeking to harm someone specifically because of their race? And said person is not necessarily no longer in that space, they’ve simply learned how to cover it up? White privilege at its finest.
All humans should know that wanting to kill a random person, period, is a bad thing. Suddenly realizing that isn’t worth a pat on the back and applause.
It would be different if he was actively being instructive and constructive about his formerly racist past, similar to a former KKK member who now does motivational talks. He doesn’t tap back into his anger likely because he’s actually reformed and it’s simply not there.
The writer also tweeted things about the interview:
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