Michelle Rodriguez Apologises For Defending Liam Neeson Amid Race Controversy

Ash Percival
London (United Kingdom), 10/02/2019.- US actress Michelle Rodriguez attends the 72nd annual British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Britain, 10 February 2019. The ceremony is hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). (Londres) EFE/EPA/NEIL HALL

Michelle Rodriguez has issued an apology for comments she made to defend Liam Neeson, following his recent race controversy. 

The actress spoke up for her former co-star last week, after Liam admitted he once walked the streets looking for a black man to kill having learned his friend had been raped. 

After his admission made headlines the world over, Michelle insisted Liam could not be racist because of the way he had kissed their co-star Viola Davis in their film Widows. 

Calling the accusations “bull****”, she continued: “Dude, have you watched Widows? His tongue was so far down Viola Davis’ throat. You can’t call him a racist ever.

“Racists don’t make out with the race that they hate, especially in the way he does with his tongue—so deep down her throat. I don’t care how good of an actor you are.”

Michelle with Widows co-stars Viola Davis and Liam Neeson

Michelle’s comments raised eyebrows, with many questioning why she’d felt the need to speak up in the first place, and others pointing out that white slave owners committed sexual violence against black enslaved women. 

Now issuing a full apology, Michelle posted on Instagram: “To my friends and colleagues and my fans and community: I want to deeply apologize for my recent choice of words, and poor use of example.

“In a pressure-filled situation, I defended a friend in the wrong way. I now realise how insensitive it was, and I had no intention of invoking such a terrible historical comparison.

“I have learned from this, and will grow from it. One Love, MRod.”

The backlash against Liam began last Monday when the Independent’s interview was first published, in which he said: “My immediate reaction [to learning his friend was raped] was… I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour 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. I’m ashamed to say that, and I did it for maybe a week – hoping some ‘black bastard’ [two words which the newspaper refers to him as using air quotes as he said] would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could... kill him.”

Following this, Liam appeared on Good Morning America in an attempt to clear up the controversy, in which he insisted that he is “not racist”.