Liam Neeson made a stunning and disturbing admission during a press junket promoting his upcoming revenge thriller Cold Pursuit.
In a conversation with The Independent, the veteran actor said that years ago, an unidentified person close to him was raped by a man she said was black. The actor admitted he then went on walking excursions while carrying a blunt weapon hoping to be attacked by a black man so he could “kill him” in revenge.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson said. “But my immediate reaction was…I asked, did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person. I went up and down areas with a cosh [slang for a blackjack, bludgeon, or similar weapon], hoping I’d be approached by somebody – 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,” another pause, “kill him.”
The Taken franchise actor went on to add that, “It took me a week, maybe a week and a half, to go through that” and “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that. And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist … But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f— are you doing,’ you know.'”
A representative for Neeson did not immediately reply to EW’s request for additional comment.
The confession has drawn intense criticism online:
Liam Neeson is definitely a reminder that there are folks who walk around hoping to provoke Black people so they can kill us.
A lot of them are in law enforcement and politics.
That Liam Neeson interview is just so saddening (and yes, still racist). It reinforces the idea that people of colour, and especially black men, are collectively responsible for the misdeeds of one. And that when a woman is sexually violated, it's a man who is left truly wounded.
Racism n white privilege is so pervasive, #LiamNeeson felt comfortable enough 2 tell the world the walked around a community in search of a random Black person 2 provoke and kill because he was angry. He prob anticipated this would come w/ no consequences. And he might be right.