Liam Neeson has written an apology for his racist revenge comments that he made back in February while promoting Cold Pursuit. The actor says that he "missed the point and hurt many people" after revealing that he once walked around his hometown, "hoping some 'black bastard' would come out of a pub and have a go at me" so that he could "kill him." The comments were made after Neeson revealed one of his good friends admitted she'd been raped by a black man years ago.
The internet exploded after Liam Neeson's comments were published. The Cold Pursuit world premiere was promptly canceled and the actor was the target of many articles attacking what he said. In an interview after the controversy, Neeson maintained that he was not racist and that he went for help. In the end, the actor hopes that his mistake can lead to a teachable moment. You can read part of Neeson's apology below.
"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. The horror of what happened to my friend ignited irrational thoughts that do not represent the person I am. 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."
Even after apologizing on national television, articles kept coming out and blasting Liam Neeson. One article by Essence was titled 'Liam Neeson's Racist Revenge Fantasy Is Yet Another Example Of Indiscriminate White Terror', while many on social media promised to boycott anything that the actor did. Now that the dust has somewhat settled, Neeson is trying to apologize again. He had this to say in the conclusion of his apology.
"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."
One of the bigger campaigns against Liam Neeson at the time was fans asking for the actor to be cut out of the upcoming Men in Black: International. That obviously did not end up happening, but people were shocked, hurt, and angry by Neeson's comments, though they were framed as a lesson that he learned about revenge. Regardless, the unacceptable comments spread like wildfire across the internet.
It will be interesting to see if people accept Liam Neeson's apology after the fallout. Cold Pursuit director Hans Petter Moland stood up for Neeson at the time and claimed that the actor was not at all racist, which even saw the director get hit with some shrapnel. Whatever the case may be, Neeson seems genuine in his apology. It will be up to the people who he hurt with his words to decide whether they accept it or not. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to reveal Liam Neeson's apology.