- Liam Neeson recently described a revenge fantasy during an interview with The Independent.
- The action star told the publication that “some time ago,” a friend told him that she was raped by a black man.
- Neeson said after that, he carried a weapon hoping to be approached by a ‘black b——‘ so he could kill him, according to The Independent.
- After the interview went viral, Neeson appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday to defend himself against the backlash.
- “I did seek help, I went to a priest,” he told Robin Roberts. “And believe it or not, power walking. Two hours every day, to get rid of this. I’m not racist. This was nearly 40 years ago.”
Liam Neeson appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday to defend himself against accusations of racism.
On Monday, The Independent’s recent interview with the action star went viral, in which Neeson described a revenge fantasy he once had after a close friend said she was raped by a black man.
“She handled the situation, herself and her rapist, incredibly bravely. I have to say that,” he told “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts. “But I had never felt this feeling before, which was a primal urge to lash out.”
When Neeson asked about her rapist’s race and found he was a black man, he said he “went out deliberately – and to black areas in the city – looking to be set upon. So that I could unleash physical violence.”
He told Roberts that he did this “maybe four or five times.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 5, 2019
“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,” he continued. “And believe it or not, power walking. Two hours every day, to get rid of this.”
“I’m not racist,” he continued. “I was brought up in the north of Ireland. And brought up in the Troubles,” he continued, referring to a guerrilla war that left about 3,600 dead, according to the New York Times.
“I had acquaintances who were involved in the Troubles. The bigotry. One Catholic would be killed, the next day a protestant would be killed. One Catholic pub would be bombed, the next day, a Protestant pub would be bombed. I grew up surrounded by that, but I was never part of it.”
He clarified that the “incident” took place nearly 40 years ago, and that his friend in question passed away five years ago.
Roberts also asked Neeson to clarify why he asked about the rapist’s race at all. He said he asked a variety of other questions as well.
“If she’d had said [the man was] an Irish, or a Scot, or a Brit, or a Lithuanian, I know it would have had the same effect,” he said. “I was trying to show honour to my – stand up for my – dear friend, in this terrible, medieval fashion. And I’m a fairly intelligent guy, and that’s why it kind of shocked me when I came down to earth after having these horrible feelings. Luckily, no violence occurred. Ever. Thanks be to God.”
He did, however, say he feels certain that he would have committed an act of violence, had an innocent black person provoked him.
“We all pretend we’re all, kind of, you know, ‘politically correct,'” he said, telling Roberts that he hopes his story helps people “open up” and talk about these issues more.
“In this country – it’s the same in my own country, too – you sometimes just scratch the surface. And you discover this racism and bigotry, and it’s there.”
Neeson’s original comments were made to The Independent during a press junket for his newest film “Cold Pursuit,” in which he plays a father on a quest for revenge after his son was killed by a drug gang.
Watch the interview on “Good Morning America” below.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, you can visit RAINN or call its hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to receive confidential support from a trained staff member.
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