Liam Neeson Apologizes For Comment About Racist Rape Revenge

Liam Neeson at Lincoln Center
Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images

Actor Liam Neeson gave a shocking interview in early February when he admitted that, as a young man, he had had thoughts of violent revenge against random black people, after a female friend of his was raped, per The Inquisitr.

The comments, which came in an interview with The Independent while he was promoting his film, Cold Pursuit, caused a major stir, with lots of fans expressing disappointment about an actor who they had previously admired, and the controversy was seen as related to that film’s lackluster box office performance, compared to most of the actor’s recent roles.

Now, in a statement to Variety, Neeson has apologized.

“Over the last several weeks, I have reflected on and spoken to a variety of people who were hurt by my impulsive recounting of a brutal rape of a dear female friend nearly 40 years ago and my unacceptable thoughts and actions at that time in response to this crime,” Neeson said in the statement.

“The horror of what happened to my friend ignited irrational thoughts that do not represent the person I am. In trying to explain those feelings today, I missed the point and hurt many people at a time when language is so often weaponized and an entire community of innocent people are targeted in acts of rage.”

Neeson went on to say that his apology has more to do with the impact of his words today, than about justifying his anger from the episode that took place many years ago.

“I recognize that, although the comments I made do not reflect, in any way, my true feelings nor me, they were hurtful and divisive. I profoundly apologize,” he concluded.

The actor had not apologized previously, although actress Michelle Rodriguez, last month, apologized for her earlier comments, per Vanity Fair, in which she implied that Neeson couldn’t possibly be racist, considering his romantic chemistry with the African-American actress Viola Davis in the 2018 film, Widows.

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Neeson, who is 66-years-old, and was born in Northern Ireland, has been acting for decades. His career hit an unlikely new peak in the last 10 years through an extended series of movie parts, including the Taken franchise and several other films, in which he plays an older action hero, usually in the course of rescuing his daughter or other family members from gangsters or traffickers.

The actor has mostly held liberal political views in his public comments, including criticism of President Trump and the lack of gun control in the U.S., although the actor drew some controversy in early 2018 when he described the #MeToo movement as “healthy,” but also “a bit of a witch hunt,” in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.