Whoopi Goldberg has rushed to her fellow Hollywood star Liam Neeson’s defense and claimed “he isn’t a bigot” for once admitting to an overwhelming urge to “kill black b******s.”
The Liam Neeson controversy exploded earlier this week when the actor made the astonishing admission that he once prowled the streets with a cosh, for a week, looking for a black person to attack after a close friend was raped by a person of color.
Neeson confessed to what he termed a “primal urge” when promoting his new action movie Cold Pursuit. During an interview with the Independent, Neeson said he could identify with the film’s theme about a father’s quest for revenge against a drug baron who had killed his son because he, too, was in the same dark place as the character in the film after his friend was raped 40 years ago.
The actor has since made it clear that he is not a racist and deeply regrets his behavior at the time. He confessed he sought help from a Catholic Priest to resolve his issues and “get the anger out of me.” He has also explained that he only highlighted the incident because he believed it could help illustrate how we are all susceptible to human weakness and base instincts in extreme situations, and how corrosive and corrupting race-based vengeance can be.
“It was this primal hatred, I guess, that really shocked me, when I eventually came down to earth and saw what I was doing, looking for a fight.”
As it transpired, honesty wasn’t the best policy in Neeson’s case. In the aftermath of his revelations about how he once had a terrible urge he was now deeply ashamed of, and how revenge was ultimately a destructive emotion, the Twitter mob decided to turn on Neeson with a vengeance.
The public shaming and condemnation were swift. Neeson was branded a “vile racist,” a “white supremacist,” and a “prejudiced thug.”
Neeson’s expression of deep regret counted for nothing amongst those quick to judge and deny a fellow human being the fundamental right to change.
However, Whoopi Goldberg believes that we shouldn’t be “surprised” by Neeson’s comments or his desire to go on the attack after hearing the news that a loved one had been raped.
The Mail reports that during an appearance on talk show The View, Whoopi explained, “people walk around sometimes with rage, that’s what happens. Is he a bigot? No. I’ve known him a pretty long time, I think I would have recognized, I’ve been around a lot of real bigots. I can say this man is not one.”