Liam Neeson admits violent thoughts about killing black person after friend was raped
Actor describes his reaction as 'horrible,' says it taught him a lesson about revenge
Liam Neeson has said he is ashamed to admit he had violent thoughts about killing a black person after learning that someone close to him had been raped.
In an interview published Monday, Neeson said that after being told the attacker was black, he "went up and down areas with a cosh [stick or truncheon]" hoping a black person "would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him."
"It took me a week, maybe a week and a half, to go through that," Neeson said.
Many social media users expressed shock at his admission, accusing Neeson of racism.
Well, I've seen it all now. Liam Neeson admitted to going around trying to find a black person to kill because someone he was close to got raped by a black person, and the journalist spoke to a psychologist to help contextualise his racism and included it in the article? WILD.—@BizPears
So I guess Liam Neeson just publicly admitted he’s racist, huh <a href="https://t.co/r33F7Bzdzr">pic.twitter.com/r33F7Bzdzr</a>—@treytylor
Hmmmm. Reminds me of a time I got provoked by a rich white guy I didn’t know. Hoping I would do something.<br><br>Thank God I never took the bait. <a href="https://t.co/9OIka9vBRx">https://t.co/9OIka9vBRx</a>—@terrycrews
My plane hasn’t even made it to the gate yet. <br><br>LIAM NEESEN SAID WHAT?!?!<br><br>I can’t get his “love scenes” with Viola out of my head.—@ReignOfApril
The Northern Ireland-born actor recounted the story in an interview with The Independent while promoting his new thriller Cold Pursuit, about a father who seeks violent revenge for his son's death.
He said the incident happened some time ago.
Neeson, 66, called his reaction "horrible," saying it taught him a lesson about the "primal need" for revenge.
"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," said Neeson, who grew up in Northern Ireland during the decades of violence known as the Troubles.
Neeson's publicist didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.