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Liam Neeson Cancels Late Show Appearance Due to Backlash Over Controversial Racial Comments

February 7, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson has cancelled an appearance on Late Show in the wake of backlash over an interview where he sought revenge for a friend who was raped. The Wrap reports that Neeson has cancelled the appearance, which was to take place on Friday, due to criticism over his interview promoting Cold Justice where, while expounding on the film’s revenge themes, he recalled a time when a friend was sexually assaulted and upon learning the color of the perpetrator’s skin, he went out seeking someone to come after him so he could kill them.

“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody,” Neeson said. “I’m ashamed to say that, and I did it for maybe a week – hoping some [Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”

Neeson appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday to discuss the situation, acknowledging (as he did in the original interview, to be fair) that it was wrong and apologizing. He said, “I went out deliberately into black areas in this city looking to be set upon so I could unleash physical violence. And I did it for maybe four or five times until I caught myself on, and it really shocked me, this primal urge I had. It shocked me and it hurt me. I did seek help. I’m not racist. This was nearly 40 years ago.”

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Liam Neeson, Jeremy Thomas