An online petition is quickly gaining traction which calls for actor Liam Neeson to be scrapped from the new Men in Black: International movie.
The Taken and Cold Pursuit star is facing massive backlash after an interview with The Independent saw him admit to roaming the streets hunting for a "black b*stard" to kill after a close friend was raped.
The interview was published on Monday, and already the repercussions have been stark. The actor cancelled an appearance on Stephen Colbert's US talk show, and the premiere of his new film was cancelled.
Liam Neeson said on 'Good Morning America' that he's not racist, after saying in an interview that he once sought to kill any Black person after his friend was raped pic.twitter.com/g0OU3m7xY0
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 7, 2019
Now fans of Men in Black are calling for him to be re-cast, and it's gotten ugly.
Neeson went on Good Morning America to insist that he's not racist in a follow-up interview, but many people were of the opinion that he made the matter even worse, and want him gone from the upcoming reboot.
The remake stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, and is based on the iconic Will Smith sci-fi alien film..
— c7nema (@c7nema) February 7, 2019
One Twitter user wrote that they "hope it’s not too late to digitally erase" the Northern Irish actor from the movie, with a source reporting to The Sun that: “Mounting pressure on Neeson to be axed won’t go unnoticed.”
Christopher Plummer is currently reshooting Liam Neeson's scenes in Men In Black International…. pic.twitter.com/Nt0543NFxe
— soapy pitts (@boosh71) February 4, 2019
Many of us probably are totally unaware that he's even cast in the film…
Speaking about his interview with The Independent, Neeson tried to explain his actions:
“We were doing a press junket and the topic of our film was revenge. The lady journalist (Clémence Michallon) was asking, "How do you tap into that?" and I remembered an incident nearly 40 years ago when a friend of mine was brutally raped I was out of the country and when I came back she told me about this."
Seriously….Liam Neeson actually has a role in Men In Black? You have got to be kidding me, this movie is DOA.
— warcat2k11 (@warcat2k11) February 7, 2019
“I had never felt this feeling before which was a primal urge to lash out.”
Whoopi Goldberg jumped to Neeson's defence on The View, saying she believes he's "not a bigot", and former England football player John Barnes also praised him for admitting his guilt, saying that if we don't acknowledge racism, how can we tackle it?
Men in Black: International will be released in UK cinemas on June 14.
Feature image: Twitter/@heroichollywood