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black bastard

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.

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..

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.”

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."

“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

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Veteran actress has had her say on the whole Liam Neeson race controversy, defending the Taken actor over his polarising remarks.

Goldberg appeared on US talk show The View to speak about the debate, insisting he's not a 'bigot' in the aftermath of his comments about wanting to "kill a black b**tard".

Neeson has been plagued by social media backlash after an interview in The Independent was published where he spoke about seeking revenge after his friend was raped.

He was promoting his new film Cold Pursuit at the time, but received widespread condemnation for his account of the event which happened over 40 years ago during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Goldberg has known the actor for decades, and is adamant that Neeson is “not a bigot” and that people “shouldn’t be surprised he was angry” after learning about the rape of his close friend.

She said: “People walk around sometimes with rage, that’s what happens. Is he a bigot? No. I’ve known him a pretty long time, I think I would have recognised, I’ve been around a lot of real bigots. I can say this man is not one."

Image: Vanity Fair

She continued her defence of the long-standing Irish actor; “You can’t be surprised that somebody whose loved one is attacked is angry and wants to go out and attack.”

The Sister Act star valued how Neeson “realised it was too dark” and went and “got himself help” by power-walking and speaking to a Catholic priest.

Appearing on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Neeson responded to the backlash himself by insisting he was “not racist” and “sought help” after his worrying instincts.

“It hurt me. I did seek help. I went to my priest and had two very good friends I spoke to,” Neeson explained. 

Former England footballer John Barnes also praised Neeson for “coming out and telling the truth” urging people to realise Neeson said he was “ashamed and horrified” at himself.

Like it or not, a vital conversation on racism, basic instincts and admitting the truth has begun as a result of his words.

Feature image; wedoitfortheloveofmusic.com

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Liam Neeson's racism controversy isn't showing any signs of dissipating, as the red carpet events before the New York premiere of his latest film have been cancelled.

Just one day after the interview was shared involving the actor describing his revenge plot against a "black b*astard" for the rape of his friend, the Cold Pursuit promotion has ended.

He went on Good Morning America yesterday to try and explain the remarks, which he made during an interview with The Independent, saying; “I’m not a racist.” 

His comments have been met with huge outrage since Monday, and has drawn condemnation from civil rights activists for their racist tones.

The Taken actor has said that the episode roughly occurred 40 years ago, after hearing that a close friend had been raped by a black assailant. 

“After that there were some nights when I went out deliberately into black areas in the city looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence,” Mr. Neeson said. “And I did it for, I’d say, maybe four or five times.”

The interviewer on Good Morning America, Robin Roberts, who is African-American, told Mr. Neeson, “You have to understand the pain of a black person hearing what you said.”

Mr. Neeson replied: “You’re absolutely right, and at the time, even though it was 40 years ago, I didn’t think about that. All those things surprised me, but it was this primal hatred, I guess, that really, really shocked me when I eventually came down to earth and saw what I was doing — going out and looking for a fight.”

Yesterday's red carpet events, which would have allowed Mr. Neeson and his co-stars to talk to reporters, cameras and more questions, were cancelled hours before they were scheduled to begin, according to a spokesman for Lionsgate, who wouldn't make a statement about the actor's remarks.

In his interview with Good Morning America,  Neeson said he would have responded with a similar “primal urge” if his friend’s attacker had been white, and also linked his urge for violence to his time growing up in The Troubles of Northern Ireland.

“If she would have said an Irish or a Scot or a Brit or a Lithuanian, I know I would have had the same effect,” Mr. Neeson said on Tuesday, referring to his friend. “I was trying to show honour to my- stand up for my dear friend in this terrible, medieval fashion.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by LIAM NEESON FAN  (@liam.neeson.original) on

He power-walked and spoke to a Catholic priest to try and overcome his anger about his friend's horrible victimisation; the friend passed away five years ago.

Mr. Neeson said the episode 40 years ago had taught him that violence and revenge only lead to more violence and revenge. He said the uproar this week had taught him something, too.

“We all pretend we’re politically correct, but in this country, it’s the same in my own country, too, but sometimes you just scratch the surface and you discover this racism and bigotry,” he said. “It’s there.”

Feature image; stuff.co.nz

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Liam Neeson has had to defend himself against the racist remarks he made in an interview in The Independent, which was released yesterday.

The Cold Pursuit actor spoke of roaming the streets with a cosh, hoping to murder a "black bastard" after a woman close to him was raped years ago.

Speaking on Good Morning America, he said; "I’m not racist, this was 40 years ago. I was brought up in the north of Ireland. The Troubles. The Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. There was a war going on in the north of Ireland."

"I had acquaintances who were involved in the trouble. The bigotry. One Catholic would be killed, the next day a protestant would be killed. I grew up surrounded by that, but I was never surrounded by it," he said. 

The original article featured the Taken actor recalling being told about a friend's rape after he returned from a trip overseas.

“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson said. “But my immediate reaction was… 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 (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.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@liam.neeson.original) on

Neeson claimed it took him at least a week to process the incident, and anger was his first instinct.

“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” he said. “It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f*ck are you doing’, you know?"

The actor brought up the personal anecdote after being asked to give more insight into his Cold Pursuit character Nels Coxman, who seeks revenge after his son is killed by a drug gang.

The internet went into a meltdown after the interview was published, with the majority of social media users accusing him of racism.

One Twitter user wrote: “Liam Neeson being ready to take any black life over what one person allegedly did just shows how meaningless and inconsequential black lives are to some."

They continued; “Even him telling the story demonstrates a level of privilege and understanding that there may not be repercussions.”

Actor Terry Crews, who is the host of America's Got Talent and star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, wrote on social media:

"Reminds me of a time I got provoked by a rich white guy I didn’t know. Hoping I would do something." He has been an advocate for domestic violence and sexual violence victims.

RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy chose to defend Liam Neeson today, saying that the actor didn't mean any harm;

"I don’t think for one minute that Liam Neeson ever wanted to kill anybody, or would ever harm anyone, or really actually meant it at all. ‘However, “you just can’t say that kind of thing” is what I suspect is going to be the response to that."

He continued;

"Having met him several times, it’s the sort of thing that he might have said over a coffee to somebody privately, but he kind of let it out into the public and that poses a serious problem for him, I suspect, in Hollywood particularly, with all the sensitivities you’d expect and that are rightly there. It’s a conundrum for him."

Former England footballer has also defended the star, calling out other heroes in society who were less than angelic when it came to race (Hi, Winston Churchill) and praising his admission of guilt.

Piers Morgan has branded him a member of the KKK, so he must be in pretty scalding water right now.

What are your thoughts on the debate; Is he shining an important light on the racist instincts present in society, specifically straight, white men? Or is he cancelled? The jury's still out.

Feature image: ABC7.com 

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