The red carpet event of Liam Neeson’s new action movie, Cold Pursuit, was cancelled after the veteran actor ignited a massive controversy with his “revenge” attack comments.
The studio has declined to comment but a source told The Hollywood Reporter that it thought the “red carpet wouldn’t be appropriate under the circumstances”.
The 66-year-old actor, who has starred in multiple revenge dramas over the years, recently said in an interview that he once wanted to kill a black man with a cosh after a friend of his was raped. He added that he feels ashamed of the thought now.
Neeson had recalled his days wondering on the streets with a weapon hoping a black man would approach him and he would kill him. During the interview, the actor appeared remorseful as he looked back at his actions.
“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 (Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers) ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could… kill him.
“It took me a week, maybe a week and a half, to go through that. She would say, ‘Where are you going?’ and I would say, ‘I’m just going out for a walk.’ You know? ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘No no, nothing’s wrong’,” the actor had said.
The actor’s comments did not go down well on social media. He was slammed by many people, particulary by those from the black community.
After backlash, Neeson on Tuesday appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and insisted that he is “not racist”.
“I was trying to show honour, to stand up for my dear friend in this terrible, medieval fashion.
“I am a fairly intelligent guy and that’s why it kind of shocked me when I came down to earth after having these horrible feelings,” Neeson said.
The actor said he would have acted the same had his friend’s assailant been white but that he had also been “shocked” by his response.
“It was horrible, horrible when I think back, that I did that. It’s awful, but I did learn a lesson from it,” he added.