×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Liam Neeson on Controversial Revenge Comments: ‘I’m Not Racist’

Liam Neeson apologized during an appearance on “Good Morning America” for recent racially charged comments.

Neeson was the subject of controversy when he revealed in an interview earlier this week with the Independent that was hoping to kill some “black bastard” upon learning his close friend was brutally raped over 40 years ago.

The actor contended to “GMA” host Robin Roberts that his comments were taken out of context. “I’m not racist,” he insisted.

“I never felt this before, which was a primal urge to lash out,” he explained to Roberts. “I asked her, ‘Did you know the person? It was a man? His race?’ She said he was a black man. I thought, ‘Ok.’ After that, there were some nights I went out deliberately into black areas in this city, looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence. I did it for maybe four or five times. It really shocked me, this primal urge I had. It shocked me and it hurt me. I did seek help. I went to a priest. I had two very good friends I talked to, and believe it or not — power walking — to get rid of this.”

Robins explained that people were upset because Neeson asked about the color of the attacker’s skin, rather than other attributes like his height or weight.

“I asked all those questions too,” he qualified. “But I did ask about race.”

Neeson said he would have had the same reaction if his friend said her rapist was a white man.

“I know I would have had the same effect,” he said. “I was trying to show honor and stand up for my dear friend in this terrible, medieval fashion. I’m a fairly intelligent guy and that’s why it shocked me when I came down to Earth after having these horrible feelings. Luckily, no violence occurred ever.”

Neeson then turned the tables to Roberts, asking her what she thinks the teachable moment should be.

“The one point I want to make out is that this wasn’t discovered by somebody. You admitted this,” she said. “This isn’t a gotcha — so I will give you credit there. But also having to acknowledge the hurt, even though it happened decades ago, the hurt of an innocent black man, knowing he could’ve been killed for something that he did not do because of the color of his skin.”

Roberts commended Neeson for not shying away from the situation and addressing it head-on. “You have to also understand the pain of the a black person hearing what you said,” she said.

Watch the full interview below:

More TV

  • Catch-22 Episode 101

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Releases Trailer for George Clooney's 'Catch-22' (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu releases the official trailer for George Clooney’s “Catch-22,” and Disney Channel announces its “Andi Mack” series will end after season 3. DATES Gabriel Iglesias will star as a high school history teacher in the Netflix multicam comedy “Mr. Iglesias,” launching on June 21. The comedian teaches gifted, but misfit students and helps them [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Scandal: 'Empire' Cast Inks Letter Supporting Actor

    “Empire” stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard are appealing to Fox for their embattled co-star Jussie Smollett to return for the show’s sixth season. Henson, Howard, and the rest of the drama series’ top cast, penned an April 19 letter to Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier, Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chair Dana [...]

  • Sheryl Underwood and Mario LopezDaytime Emmy

    Daytime Emmys: New Procedures Aim to Avoid Repeat of Last Year's Winner Scandal

    A year after an awards debacle rocked the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) and nearly took down the Daytime Emmys, the organization has instituted new rules that officials hope have made this year’s proceedings fairer. One major one was to stop the practice of posting acting reel submissions from some key categories [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones': Bryan Cogman Confirms His Spinoff Isn't Happening

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading unless you’ve seen “Game of Thrones” Season 8 Episode 2, titled “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” Veteran “Game of Thrones” writer Bryan Cogman has confirmed that his potential spinoff series from the HBO epic will not be going ahead. “This is it for me in terms of Westeros,” Cogman told Variety. [...]

  • Alex Gansa Howard Gordon

    'Homeland' Creators Ink Multi-Year Overall Deal at Sony

    Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa have signed a multi-year overall deal at Sony Pictures Television, Variety has confirmed. The new deal means the duo will depart their longtime home at 20th Century Fox Television. In addition to Gordon and Gansa, Sony’s current roster of creators under overall deals includes Norman Lear, Anthony Hemingway, Gloria Calderon Kellett, [...]

  • Mel Robbins - Season 1 -

    'The Mel Robbins Show' Picked Up for Fall Debut in Syndication

    Sony Pictures Television announced Tuesday that “The Mel Robbins Show,” its new one-hour syndicated talk show, has been picked up by Nexstar Media Group. The show will be hosted by author and speaker Mel Robbins. It will debut in syndication on Sept. 16 and clear 90% of U.S. television households. The list of station groups [...]

  • Ken Kercheval dead

    Ken Kercheval, Cliff Barnes on 'Dallas,' Dies at 83

    Ken Kercheval, who played oil tycoon Cliff Barnes, the rival of Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing on “Dallas,” has died. He was 83. A spokeswoman at Frist Funeral Home in Kercheval’s hometown of Clinton, Ind., confirmed his death on Wednesday to Variety, but did not provide additional information. Kercheval and Hagman were the only two stars who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content