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Taken actor Liam Neeson is facing a major PR storm after opening up to The Independent about wanting to hurt Black men after finding out a close friend was raped by a Black assailant. Fans and critics were outraged by Neeson’s “racist” comments, and today he responded – on the set of Good Morning America.
A now 66-year-old Neeson told The Independent’s Clémence Michallon that he used to walk the streets with a weapon in hopes a Black man would approach him and “have a go” at him so Neeson could “kill him” in return.
Although the United Kingdom native expressed regret and how ashamed he was for having those thoughts (as a result of his friend’s assault) during the interview, the public believes Neeson needs to take responsibility for his comments in The Independent’s interview.
The actor, who’s in the middle of a press tour for his new movie, Cold Pursuit, sat down with GMA’s Robin Roberts to clarify his seemingly controversial remarks.
“I’m not racist,” he told Roberts after rehashing the story he conveyed to The Independent.
“I was trying to show honor and stand up for my dear friend in this terrible, medieval fashion. I’m a fairly intelligent guy, and that’s why it shocked me when I came down to Earth after having these horrible feelings. No violence occurred. Ever. Thanks be to God.”
Neeson went on to admit that he sought help for his thoughts and emotions by going to confession, talking to two very close friends, and went power walking for two hours every day in an effort to work through his anger.
Watch Liam Neeson’s full GMA interview above.