Liam Neeson finally apologized for his racist AF story: ‘I missed the point’

Liam Neeson is seen leaving GMA after being in the headlines regarding controversial remarks

Here’s a story I wish I could forget: in early February, Liam Neeson was promoting one of his old-guy-seeks-vengeance movies, Cold Pursuit. As soon as the promotional junket began, The Independent published an interview they had done with Liam, wherein he offered up a frighteningly racist personal story. The story was about how one of his good friends was raped 30 years ago, and he asked her what her rapist’s race was, and she said “black.” So Liam spent weeks (at the time) going out every night to hunt down…any black guy. Liam wanted to kill any black man he came across in the name of vengeance. He carried a bat too. When everyone was appropriately horrified by Liam’s story, he went on Good Morning America and instead of apologizing and being self-aware, he just repeated the same f–king story and then insisted he wasn’t racist. He also claimed that his violent racist urges were healed by prayer and power walking. It was bad. Well, nearly two months later, a crisis manager finally got hired, I guess. Because look what happened:

Weeks after generating controversy for discussing a past event in which he wanted to bait a black man into fighting him to avenge a recently raped friend, Liam Neeson has released an apology for the remarks.

“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. 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.”

[From Page Six]

Clearly, this was either written by a crisis manager or some PR professional, perhaps even in concert with Liam. What I don’t understand is how, after this time has passed, he still seems incapable of just saying it outright: “I thought I was telling a story about vengeance but I was actually telling a story about racism. It’s a racist story and I am profoundly sorry.” It might seem nitpicky, but go back and re-read it – he still doesn’t say the word “racist” or “racism.” He talks around it. So no, I’m not going to give him a cookie for at least coming to a gradual awakening that his story was and is awful. But I am glad he apologized. It’s a good starting point.

Liam Neeson denies being racist on ‘GMA’ following controversial remarks

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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18 Responses to “Liam Neeson finally apologized for his racist AF story: ‘I missed the point’”

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  1. BlueSky says:

    And I guess it’s not a coincidence that he is apologizing now that is around the time the MIB promotional tour will be gearing up. He (and the movie studio)probably don’t want to keep talking about this now that a new movie he’s in is coming out in June.

  2. Renee2 says:

    I wonder what led to this change of heart. Did he truly “see the light” or did his pr manager sit him down and have a come to Jesus talk with him? Either way, it’s a start, I suppose.

    • Moe says:

      I do think the apology kaiser made was a much better worded apology and hopefully would have been truly felt.
      What I’m wondering – and I hope I don’t get jumped on for this is- a serious question: do you think it’s possible for someone to really change their heart after 20 years and see that the attitudes they had were truly racist and also that can he be sincerly sorry for those comments? And the bigger question to that is do you think these people can be forgiven? Because if they can’t be forgiven under any circumstances I worry that will be closing the conversation and not allow humans to change and evolve. Although it also seems to me that it’s always the injured party that is expected to not hold a grudge or be open-minded or be understanding.

      • Renee2 says:

        @Moe,

        I don’t know. I think he could be sorry about the confusion that his comments caused but still not understand why they were problematic in the first place. I don’t know if people can change. I hope that we can. But it’s a lot of work. Because it kinda goes beyond his remarks…like, there is a lot of work to do in rooting out white supremacy and I don’t know that most people want to do that work.

    • Theflint says:

      His original apology was more of a clarification and it’s clear he didn’t think his story was offensive then. I’m guessing the “change of heart” was thanks to his movie contracts and the promotional obligations. Ralph Fiennes defended him and I don’t think Liam thinks he’s racist but it was something he really didn’t need to share as for some people with unexamined impulses it seemed to have a normalising effect.

  3. Darla says:

    Cancel culture is interesting to me. I don’t really go around saying “he’s cancelled!” or things like that. I don’t feel a part of cancel culture. I’ve just always been really turned off by things. Do you know how many years it took for me to take a 2nd look at Chris Evans after the douche tour? And it wasn’t, oh hes cancelled! It was just, ech. I cant stand Renner, and I didnt know much about Evans other then as Captain America. So to me he looked like another frat douche ala Renner. If I didn’t love Marvel so much I just wouldn’t have seen anything he was in. Not because I cancelled him, but because I felt grossed out by him. It took noticing him on twitter when others retweeted him and then reading more recent interviews before I said, hmmmm, this guy needs a 2nd look from me. It was years, not because i refused to look before that because I had “cancelled” him, just because meh, who cared?

    Maybe this will happen too with Liam, but I will bet you 50 dollars right now it never will. Part of that is his age. And partly because people rarely sit down and educate themselves, or do any real thinking. It’s just rare. And I feel really gross about him now. It is how it is.

    • Cindy says:

      I don’t get “cancelled” culture either. I think it’s pretty creepy. You don’t have to like people and you don’t have to forgive people if you don’t want to but this fascination with dragging people for ages for their mistakes, and then dissecting their apologies and everything… just… eh.

      I don’t like Liam, I never liked him, I’ve always hated his movies, and I thought this story was REALLY disturbing. But I’ll just leave it at that? I’m not going to act like I dislike Liam for some woke, political reason.

    • Mash says:

      Im soooo glad some one brought this up…. cancelculture is very toxic and problematic for one I’ve definitely notied as a WOC (Black) that whitewomen and to obv a larger extent the white establishment are the gatekeepers of who is cancelled and who gets a pass and to what degree….all under the guise of bullying and hive like mentality for takedown….

      so for me, what Liam said was 1) intriguing/disturbing in the sense that this is often times the faux reasoning in many American lynchings …and to know that was his visceral reaction FIRST is scary—- whole african american communities have been decimated off that loose-logic reactionary movement whitefolks carry after they feel a crime has been committed upon them/their women by a perceived or real live black suspect (look up Rosewood and Black Wall Street)

      2) I thought it was incredibly honest —like the unfiltered (good ol european boy) white man’s mind in the 21 century, like the audacity to say that in these modern times….with a movie with a diverse racial/ethnically cast…. are there trumpian particles that have infected outwardly seemingly decent older and younger white ppl (esp men or did) to feel comfortable saying such memories….

      idk im soooo apathetic to this all i could say as a blk woman was WOOOOOW HES SO BOLD, I BET THEY ALL FEEL/FELT THIS WAY….

      so in conclusion we know that Liam can be cokes into a lynch mob at the least and start one at the worst :::shrugs smh:::

    • Theflint says:

      Depends on the issue. Some things/people clearly cross the line (Roman Polanski). I don’t think Liam is a bad guy and truly racist but he didn’t need to share his story. He wasn’t cancelled for me but I was put out by his comments the next day that basically said he didn’t say anything wrong. The recent apology was more on track as he acknowledge there wasn’t anything to be gained by sharing those impulsive racist or tribalistic urges with the world and he now understands how it could have been hurtful to some.

  4. Michael says:

    I still like Liam and I know he does not live his life as a racist but I would never really trust him as a friend or ally. He showed who he was and never really showed contrition. So be it.

  5. Jess says:

    Better apology but he’s still unwilling to admit that what he did (why he even asked the race of the rapist is still a problematic question) was racist and it does t seem like he’s apologizing for that. I am part of cancel culture and he’s still canceled.

  6. ZsaZsa Fierce says:

    Liam Neeson’s neighborhood!

  7. Keira says:

    White folks who consider themselves “good” people are hard-pressed to admit on any level that anything that they say or do could be construed as racist—even if it is obvious to the rest of us— when in fact there are scads of microaggressions these “good” white people commit every day, and worse.

    • Sparker says:

      white fragility

    • Tracym says:

      50 mumble year old white lady here. I just have to say this and maybe it belongs as a reply here or not but …

      I grew up in a very liberal democratic home and always believed that I wasn’t racist. Because I believed that, I engaged in some pretty questionable language in my own home secure in my “non racist” thoughts and beliefs. I was shocked when I first heard of white privilege. I was offended but did some research and talked to some people and my thinking has come a long way. Not just about white privilege but racism in general. I do think white privilege was a great starting point though.

      My son’s father is Dominican. My son identifies strongly with that and has had and continues to have strange interactions with people asking him “What are you?” . When he told me about it, it made me laugh, but now I understand he was really upset and I have a better understanding of why.

      He has been a great teacher for me and I’ve come to the realization that indeed I was and probably still am racist, but it’s not something I like about myself and am working to change.

      The part of this that might not belong here is saying that I believe people can change and grow and deserve the opportunity to do so. Also, older folks like me were taught certain ideas at a young age which were very different from today. We were taught that “color blind” was good, today it is bad. I’m not making excuses and that is just one example but there are entire generations with tons of “non racist” ideas that need to be given the opportunity to catch up.

  8. Lala11_7 says:

    He’s poisoned the REALLY DEEP WELL of affection and admiration that I had for him….

    It’s now…

    Just…Tainted Love…

  9. Faye G says:

    Not good enough. He’s talking around the issue and showing he’s not actually sorry for being racist. He’s just butthurt that people are infringing on his right to be racist, and just wants the problem to go away.