Liam Neeson's racist remarks lead to TV, red carpet cancellations
Writer: Florey DM
Liam Neeson let slip some racially sensitive remarks while promoting his latest movie, "Cold Pursuit".
8 Feb – With Liam Neeson's newest movie "Cold Pursuit" being all about revenge, it was inevitable that questions about his own real-life intentions for revenge would come up while promoting said movie.
The action star should've picked his words carefully, or probably just skipped the questions, because his answers were less than admirable.
Backlash over his recent racist rape revenge remarks has led to his TV appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" to be cancelled, with only Glenn Close to appear as today's sole guest, according to BBC.
This follows the cancellation of the red carpet event of the movie's New York premiere last Tuesday, though he still appeared at the event and the movie's screening went on as scheduled.
It all started with his interview with UK's The Independent, where he admitted that some time ago, the rape of someone close to him prompted him to roam the streets looking for any man – any black man, specifically – to hurt.
The article quoted him as saying: "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," another pause, "kill him."
Thanks to the sudden (and shocking) admission, the 66-year-old is now in hot water with fans and celebrities alike either criticising him or defending him.
Michelle Rodriguez, whom he worked with in last year's heist movie "Widows", falls in the latter category, citing the way he passionately kisses Viola Davis – who stars as his wife in the movie – as proof.
"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. It's all bulls--. Ignore it. He's not a racist. He's a loving man. It's all lies," she told Vanity Fair at the New York event.
"Cold Pursuit" is set to open in North American cinemas today but judging by the current heat Neeson is getting, it probably won't top its opening weekend since moviegoers could be giving it the cold shoulder.
The movie is only opening in Malaysia and Singapore this 21 February, and even as late as March and April in some territories like Finland and South Africa. So maybe there's still hope for it to recover from the controversy.
This could be Neeson's last big screen appearance for the year though, since social media is now flooded with fans calling for him to be digitally removed from his next 2019 movie, "Men in Black: International", the Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth-starrer that's scheduled for release this June.
Cinema Online, 08 February 2019