Liam Neeson created a firestorm of controversy in early February with disturbing comments he made during an interview about his new revenge film, “Cold Pursuit”.
He recounted an anecdote from his past, revealing that after a female friend was raped by a black man he became so full of rage that he walked around the streets at night “hoping some black b*****d would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”
The “Taken” star’s remarks were immediately condemned as racist, although Neeson himself insisted in a subsequent interview with “Good Morning America” that “I am not a racist.”
Many who watched the interview, however, felt the 66-year-old actor only dug himself in deeper, with his attempts to explain his comments only making the situation worse.
Although the backlash has seemingly subsided in recent weeks, Variety reports that Neeson has done some soul-searching and is now offering another apology.
“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 a statement.
“The horror of what happened to my friend ignited irrational thoughts that do not represent the person I am,” his statement continued. “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 concluded: “What I failed to realize is that this is not about justifying my anger all those years ago, it is also about the impact my words have today. I was wrong to do what I did. 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.”