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Liam Neeson Admits He Walked The Streets Looking For A Black Man To Kill After Someone He Was Close To Was Allegedly Raped

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In a recent interview promoting his new film Cold Pursuit, Liam Neeson brought up a conversation that is making his fans see red.

In a press junket with The Independent, Neeson talks about finding common ground with his character seeking revenge. He relays a story about a time he sought just that.

After returning from a trip overseas, he found out an unnamed friend had been raped:

“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way. But my immediate reaction was… I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.”

“I went up and down areas with a cosh, 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… kill him.”

As you can imagine, this news has not been well received.

To his credit, Neeson is rightfully ashamed of the incident.

He withholds details of the victim, and says after a week he snapped to his senses:

“But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the fuck are you doing,’ you know?”

“I grew up in Northern Ireland in the Troubles – and, you know, I knew a couple of guys that died on hunger strike, and I had acquaintances who were very caught up in the Troubles, and I understand that need for revenge, but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing, and Northern Ireland’s proof of that.”

Clémence Michallon, the journalist who conducted the interview, explained the process for carefully editing and publishing the discussion.

Michallon even interviewed an expert in social neuroscience to provide more context for Neeson’s actions.

Though, we could have maybe done without this last bit.

It’s a lot to unpack. On one hand, it’s great that Neeson realized why he was wrong. If we’ve learned one thing the last several years, it’s that these feelings can spread and grow.

On the other hand, this scenario offers no other good moments for the actor. He completely ignores how the victim of the assault feels and indulges in what will make him feel better. He doesn’t ask questions that can narrow down who it was, just the color of the skin of the attacker.

And what would have happened if he had found exactly what he was looking for? This story was told to show how he connects to someone who wants revenge, not necessarily how to resolve it.

Mr. Neeson, can you please just… not?

Neeson had been in hot water about a year ago after he made comments about the #MeToo movement.

While he approved of victims telling their stories, he also questioned if it was making a “bit of a witch hunt.”

“There’s some people, famous people, being suddenly accused of touching some girl’s knee or something and suddenly they’re being dropped from their program.”

Clearly, he hasn’t learned his lesson just yet.


Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.