In an February 2019 interview with The Independent, where Liam Neeson was promoting his new movie ‘Cold Pursuit’, he got into trouble for saying he wanted ‘to kill a black bastard’ after learning that a good friend had been raped over 40 years ago.
His comments have the Hollywood community divided. While some powerful names like Whoopi Goldberg have come out in support of the actor, others have condemned his comments and said that he should be banned from the 2019 Oscars.
Though no celebrity has come out in the open and said this.
‘Cold Pursuit’, that is being released by Lionsgate, chose to cancel the film’s red carpet in New York City after Neeson’s comments hit the airwaves.
Neeson’s appearances on multiple talk shows like the one Stephen Colbert hosts have also been canned by the networks. Neeson also canceled his appearances on multiple shows.
Neeson’s side of the story
Liam Neeson went on the record on ‘Good Morning America,’ the morning after his controversial comments hit the airwaves at night and stated that he ‘ain’t no racist’.
Clarifying his position, he said: “When I learnt that a very close friend of mine had been brutally raped 40 years ago, I was filled up with blind anger. I went out on the streets with an aim to hurt someone from the African-American community really badly because my friend, who was raped, told me that it was a ‘black’ man who had done the deed.
“I know that it was wrong and seeked help after that. I went to a priest and talked to two of my closest friends after that. That helped too. But you know what helped the most? Power walking.”
He went on to say that he wanted to start a wider conversation about racism through his comments. “We all pretend we’re all politically correct in this country… in mine, too. You sometimes just scratch the surface and you discover this racism and bigotry and it’s there.”
Neeson is from Northern Ireland though he has predominantly been involved in British and American cinema since 1981. His breakthrough role was in Schindler’s List.
Neeson’s comments have Hollywood divided
The fallout in the aftermath of Neeson’s ‘racially charged’ comments have left Hollywood divided.
While most in the film fraternity have refrained from commenting on the issue, audiences on the other hand have been quite vocal about their stance.
The latest posts doing the rounds on social media are requests to the latest ‘Men In Black’ producers to digitally remove Neeson from the film.
Others have asked that Neeson be banned from the 2019 Oscars and have pleaded with the Hollywood community not to cast him in any more movies.
Neeson’s not a ‘bigot’
Neeson’s most famous role to date was as the titular character of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 war-drama Schindler’s List.
In the movie, Sudeten German businessman Oskar Schindler saves the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees by employing them in his factory during the Holocaust.
It was released in black and white and was shot in the form of a documentary. It got seven Oscars and is considered to be one of the greatest films of all times.
Neeson received mostly positive reviews for his performance though he did not win an Oscar for his performance.
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