Liam Neeson red carpet axed after racism row

Ben Arnold
Liam Neeson (Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)
Liam Neeson (Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

The red carpet reception for Liam Neeson’s new film Cold Pursuit has been axed, in the wake of the fallout from his comments about considering a racially-motivated revenge attack.

Organisers of the premiere in New York confirmed that they are cancelling the interviews and photo opportunities prior to the film screening, according to AP.

Neeson appeared on Good Morning America yesterday to further explain what he said during an interview with The Independent, conducting during a press junket three weeks ago but published this week.

He told a near 40-year-old story of how, when he discovered a close friend had been raped, he asked the ethnicity of the attacker, and then stalked ‘black areas’ for a number of days with a cosh, hoping to be assaulted himself so he could fight back.

Neeson called it a ‘primal urge’ for revenge, and said that at the time he wanted to kill a man, or as he put it ‘any black b**tard’, but was later horrified by his actions.

Yesterday, he reiterated the story to GMA host Robin Roberts, and said that he is not a racist.

He also said that he saw a priest once he’d come to his senses to confess his sins.

“If she had said Irish or Scot or a Brit or a Lithuanian, I know it would have had the same effect,” he said.

“I was trying to show honour to and stand up for my dear friend in this terrible medieval fashion.”

“We all pretend we’re kind of politically correct,” Neeson added.

“I mean, in this country, it’s the same in my own country too, you sometimes just scratch the surface and you discover this racism and bigotry, and it’s there.”

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