'Cold Pursuit' Red Carpet Premiere Cancelled After Liam Neeson Comments

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(Photo: Summit Entertainment / Cold Pursuit)

Lionsgate has decided to cancel the red carpet premiere for Cold Pursuit after actor Liam Neeson has found himself embroiled in a recent scandal. The news of the cancellation was first reported by Variety.

Earlier in the week, Neeson revealed that four decades ago, a close friend of his was sexually assaulted by a black man — the Batman Begins alum admitted he then took to the streets looking for revenge.

"I remembered an incident nearly 40 years ago, where a very dear friend of mine was brutally raped," he said. "I was out of the country and when I came back she told me about this. And she handled the situation, herself and the rapist, incredibly bravely, I have to say that," Neeson said. "But I had never felt this feeling before, which was a primal urge to lash out. I asked her, 'Did you know the person?' 'No.' 'His race?' She said he was a black man. I thought, 'OK.' And after that, there were some nights I went out deliberately into black areas in the city looking to be set upon, so I could unleash physical violence."

"And I did it, I'd say maybe four or five times, until I caught myself on and it really shocked me, this primal urge I had," the actor continued. "It shocked me and it hurt me. I did seek help, I went to a priest who heard my confession, I was reared a Catholic. I had two very, very good friends that I talked to. And, believe it or not, power walking. Two hours every day."

Neeson took to Good Morning America earlier in the week to explain his initial remarks to The Independent.

"I'm not racist. This was nearly 40 years ago," he continued. "I was brought up in the north of Ireland and brought up in 'The Troubles,' the '60s, '70s, and early '80s... There was a war going on in the north of Ireland and 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 around that, but I was never a part of it."

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For his role in Cold Pursuit, Neeson plays Nelson Coxman, a snowplower driver in a sleep town who investigates the mysterious murder of his son — picture Fargo mixed with Taken. Directed by Hans Petter Moland, the film is based upon a Ion Order of Disappearance, a Norweigan film released in 2014.

Cold Pursuit opens in theaters in 2,500 locations on February 8th.