A growing number of social media users are saying the Taken actor is "cancelled" after comments made in an interview with The Independent promoting his newest movie — Cold Pursuit, a revenge action-drama — where Neeson recalled wanting revenge after a female loved one alleged she was raped.
"There's something primal — God forbid you've ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions. I'll tell you a story, this is true," Neeson said of returning from overseas "some time ago" when he learned of the assault.
"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 color were they?' She said it was a black person."
He added 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, explaining it took around a week and a half to "go through that."
"She would say, 'Where are you going?' and I would say, 'I'm just going out for a walk,'" Neeson said. "'What's wrong?' 'No no, nothing's wrong.'
"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. God forbid."
Adding his response was "awful," Neeson said he eventually came around, adding, "When I eventually thought, 'What the f— are you doing?'"
"I come from a society — 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," he said.
"But it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing, and Northern Ireland's proof of that. All this stuff that's happening in the world, the violence, is proof of that, you know. But that primal need, I understand."
"Liam Neeson being ready to take any Black life over what one person allegedly did just shows how meaningless and inconsequential black lives are to some," tweeted Frederick Joseph in response to the story.
"So I guess Liam Neeson just publicly admitted he's racist, huh," tweeted Trey Taylor.
Jemele Hill tweeted Neeson is "today's example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory."
Liam Neeson being ready to take any Black life over what one person allegedly did just shows how meaningless and inconsequential black lives are to some.
Even him telling the story demonstrates a level of privilege and understating that there may not be repercussions.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) February 4, 2019
Yup so Liam Neeson is definitely cancelled.— King K. (@Unkle_K) February 4, 2019
Looks like Liam Neeson May have just flushed his career.— Rainbow Fire✖️??❄️?✖️ (@ARogueLiberal) February 4, 2019
I’m just....how did Liam Neeson arrive at that particular answer during an interview— nuanced opinion guy (@charles_kinbote) February 4, 2019
So for those saying Liam Neeson would of kept the same energy believe he would of gone out with a Kosh and hoped a white person would approach him so he can KILL them— Reece ?? (@reecestweetz) February 4, 2019
LIAM NEESON: I'll tell you a story.February 4, 2019
How Black Twitter looking at Liam Neeson right now pic.twitter.com/954ysnx3ck— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) February 4, 2019
Reporter: Liam you have new movie coming, anything to add?
Liam Neeson: Yes I'd like fuck up everything for $2000 Alex
Liam: Huh?— MonsterKing (@CerromeRussell) February 4, 2019
liam neeson's publicist: https://t.co/WJe9jC0wM7— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) February 4, 2019
Liam Neeson: I was racist for two weeks but I came out stronger x— bolu babalola (@BeeBabs) February 4, 2019
When you see why Liam Neeson is tending... pic.twitter.com/t7twtMHmTp— Jay ?? (@_champagnepepe) February 4, 2019
Liam Neeson is cancelled again.— My autobiography 21st Feb! (@DaftLimmy) February 4, 2019
* Sees why Liam Neeson is trending*
Me, at first: OK, maybe they're blowing this thing out of proportion, I mean, how bad could it be?
*reads Liam Neeson's* interview*— Just Juanita (@Sw33tH3art666) February 4, 2019
Me, at this moment: pic.twitter.com/XDWStZNdlT
Me giving Liam Neeson ANY of my money for his movies!!! pic.twitter.com/I1fCOc4nKG— sosoSteph?☂️ (@rynsmom0911) February 4, 2019
*Sees Liam Neeson is trending
"I hope he's not dead!"
*Finds out why Liam Neeson is trending pic.twitter.com/h1ez56yHSE— Jim LaChapelle (@TVGuyJBL) February 4, 2019
Liam Neeson: I used to hunt black people in pubs pic.twitter.com/JsWDh3J9uA— Lovingmesomeme❤️?❤️ (@Royallytrue) February 4, 2019
*sees Liam Neeson trending*
Me: Oh wonder what kind of kick ass movie he’ll make next..
Liam Neeson: I once walked up and down the street for a week hoping to kill random black guy.February 4, 2019
Me seeing Liam Neeson trending: “I hope he’s okay, I love his movies...”
*checks Twitter to see why Liam Neeson is trending*February 4, 2019
When you see Liam Neeson trending, then you find out why... pic.twitter.com/svP8jY7qDu— Jacob Davison (@JacobDavison_) February 4, 2019
Interviewer: So Liam, you have a movie coming out correct?
Liam Neeson: I once wanted to murder a random black man for a week because I was upset at another black person.
Interviewer: pic.twitter.com/mLIXnIQcBa— BeMoreKindVT (@CorgiMasterVT) February 4, 2019
*sees Liam Neeson trending*
Me: hah, who’s Qui-Gon Jinn looking to demonstrate his particular set of skills on now lolololol...
Liam Neeson: I once contemplated killing a random black guy.February 4, 2019
Liam Neeson: i considered carrying out a racist murder years ago
Black twitter right now: pic.twitter.com/pQ6FdpvisI— UltraInstinct (@shanshan888888) February 4, 2019
liam neeson: i considered carrying out a racist murder years ago
Black twitter already took out demi lovato and now liam neeson is next pic.twitter.com/YMWPpvr0Gv— The Doctor of Philosophy (@evildead8888) February 4, 2019