The fallout from actor Liam Neeson's racist revenge controversy continues. Yesterday, Lionsgate canceled the red carpet premiere for Cold Pursuit and now some on the internet are calling for even more significant measures: removing Neeson from the upcoming Men in Black International."
As reported by Fox News, calls for Neeson to be removed from the film -- either through digital editing or his scenes being replaced with another actor entirely -- have started making the rounds on social media following Neeson's controversial comments earlier this week.
In an interview with The Independent to promote the revenge action-drama Cold Pursuit, Neeson recounted a time in his life when he wanted to get revenge after a female loved one confided that she had been sexually assaulted by someone she indicated was black. Neeson's response to the revelation was to go looking for someone to hurt.
He explained that he 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 'black bastard' would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could... kill him," Neeson continued before adding that he eventually came to his senses and realized that it wasn't the answer but acknowledged that the incident helped him understand the need for revenge.
The comments didn't go over particularly well and neither did Neeson's appearance on Good Morning America on Tuesday in which he attempted to clarify the situation, which happened around 40 years ago, as well as reiterate that he doesn't have any racist thoughts or feelings. While the entire situation, from his original comments to The Independent as well as his conversation with Roberts has sparked conversations about racism and how people's views and behaviors can change, there's also been those calls to "cancel" Neeson, starting with his upcoming role in Men in Black International.
"Are we sure it's a good idea to let Liam Neeson star in [Men in Black 4]?" one Twitter user wrote. "I'm mean the title alone just doesn't suit him anymore."
While some of the comments were likely sarcastic -- especially those that employed GIFs of the mindwiping device from the previous Men in Black films -- plenty of others were taking the situation seriously. However, not everyone was in agreement that Neeson's role in the film needed to be reconsidered. There were also comments who found the calls troubling, and still others still questioning the entire situation.
Men in Black International stars Tessa Thompson (Westworld, Creed II), Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Infinity War, Bad Times at the El Royale), Liam Neeson (Widows, Taken), Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, The Big Sick), Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Big Short), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible - Fallout, The Greatest Showman), and Emma Thompson (Beauty and the Beast, Sense and Sensibility), who will be reprising her role as Agent O from Men in Black 3.
What are your thoughts? Read through some of the conversation on Twitter below and let us know your take in the comments below.
Men in Black International hits theaters June 14.
Liam Neeson is defo regretting signing up for the new Men In Black right now.— Scott Rafferty (@Swrafferz) February 6, 2019
I really hope it’s not too late to digitally erase that racist fuck Liam Neeson from the new Men In Black movie— No, My Name is Grizz (@fakecult) February 4, 2019
You can literally hear Liam Neeson evaporating from all the upcoming Men in Black International marketing.— C-Sleepio (@OhThatsJustRich) February 5, 2019
@MenInBlack boycott Men In Black the gutless coward Liam Neeson said he was walking around looking to kill an innocent black man who had nothing to do with his personal issues he's a gutless coward and a racist bigot boycott Men in Black— Denn Grey (@DennGrey) February 4, 2019
Might have been a bad choice to have Liam Neeson star in the upcoming Men In BLACK film.— DJ Valentine (@TryingToBeDJV) February 5, 2019
It’s gonna be so awkward seeing Liam Neeson in Men in Black International..— iceberg21 (@iceberg171) February 4, 2019