Actor Liam Neeson is facing major backlash for recounting a disturbing story about once seeking violent revenge.
While speaking with The Independent during a press interview for his new film Cold Pursuit, Neeson recalled a time in his life when a female close to him was raped and he sought vengeance on the man who committed the alleged crime.
"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 explained, saying that he'd been out of the country when the alleged crime happened. "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."
"I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I'd be approached by somebody," he went on to say. "I'm ashamed to say that -- and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some 'black b—' would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could... kill him."
He went on to say that he did this for nearly two weeks before he came to his senses. "When I eventually thought, 'What the f–k are you doing?' " he said.
"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," Neeson continued. "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."
The actor's admission has sparked a major backlash online, with many heavily criticizing Neeson for being "racist."
If a White person raped someone close to Liam Neeson, would he "walk the streets" looking to kill a random white person?
This is blatant racism, and more people in this country than you can imagine hamper these feelings.
WAKE UP AMERICA!— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) February 4, 2019
"That Liam Neeson interview is just so saddening (and yes, still racist). It reinforces the idea that people of colour, and especially black men, are collectively responsible for the misdeeds of one," one person commented. "And that when a woman is sexually violated, it's a man who is left truly wounded."0comments
"Well, I've seen it all now," someone else tweeted. "Liam Neeson admitted to going around trying to find a black person to kill because someone he was close to got raped by a black person, and the journalist spoke to a psychologist to help contextualise his racism and included it in the article? WILD."
At this time, Neeson does not appear to have responded to the backlash.