Liam Nesson expresses regret for his actions in Independent interview

Nov 5, 2016
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Grizzle, I respect your viewpoint, and your passion.

I can definitely understand feeling like Neeson was/is racist if you just go by what he said at face value, but again, I truly feel like he didn’t mean it to sound, well, like it sounds.

If he had asked “what did he look like,” and she had replied, “he looks like a nerd ass gamer,” Neeson would have gone around looking for any “nerd ass gamer bastard” to beat up.
 
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I dunno about you folks but I fucking LOVE it when one of these attempts at pandering and virtue signalling backfires.

What a fucking eejit.

Sure, I get what he was trying to do. Show how irrational and blinding and potentially dangerous racism can be. Show how shameful it is and also try to show how it doesn't do anyone any good.

So just say "racism is bad and can cause people to act like violent idiotic buffoons".

Or just say that anger and revenge can be a poison that can potentially ruin lives long after the initial events.
No need to even mention race.

Maybe don't admit that once you prowled the streets looking for black people to beat up. FFS.
Shit even if, in hindsight, you are horrified and ashamed of your actions maybe that's the kind of thing you look back on and say "ok let's never mention this again".
Honestly I think what he claims he did was definitely bad enough for people to doubt just how much he has "reformed" or "put it behind him" or whatever.

What was the point that this dummy is trying to make? That anyone can be racist? Sure, maybe. I bet the vast majority of people have never been out on the streets at night looking for revenge, nevermind looking for revenge against a specific race.

A complete PR disaster that could have easily been avoided. Clown.

Now, imagine if it turns out he was in Chicago last week and has a fondness for Subway sandwiches? :)
 
Oct 2, 2018
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Yeah, when you put it like that... this seems hard to recover from.
Yeah, I mean isn't it a legit hate crime on some level?
He's walking around with a weapon (a cosh, specifically) hoping to bump into a black man so he can batter them?

I have done some pretty stupid shit in my youth and been a wee bit reckless here and there and I've gotten into fights but NEVER something even remotely close to that level of fucked up.

I reckon the motivation behind it was "look anyone can be a racist because of society but if we all work together we can end it" but in all honestly what he is talking about is racism on a level that most people never even get close to.

What's next? Maybe he was going to make a commentary on toxic masculinity by admitting he spent nights prowling pubs looking for women's drinks to spike. So if Liam Neeson could be that much of a shitheel then any man could.

Pro-tip: don't virtue signal your opposition to racism by admitting you stalked the streets of the city at night with a cosh looking to kill a "black b******". Fucking hell.
 
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Jun 30, 2013
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@Saruhashi I agree with lots that you’ve said, but I think you’ve missed the angle on racism. I don’t think it was ever supposed to portray race in the way the story has since formed and been portrayed. The point was revenge and what that can do to somebody. Liam wasn’t the most forward thinking when originally sharing this at the presser (putting it mildly). That’s my takeaway at least. He’s since said he would have done the same in Protestant areas if it had been a Protestant responsible. It just happened to be a black guy.
 
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Oct 2, 2018
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@Saruhashi I agree with lots that you’ve said, but I think you’ve missed the angle on racism. I don’t think it was ever supposed to portray race in the way the story has since formed and been portrayed. The point was revenge and what that can do to somebody. Liam wasn’t the most forward thinking when originally sharing this at the presser (putting it mildly). That’s my takeaway at least. He’s since said he would have done the same in Protestant areas if it had been a Protestant responsible. It just happened to be a black guy.
That's fair but even if it was Protestants instead he is still essentially admitting to being a bigot on a level way beyond even a large portion of bigots.

I think we could understand if he would say "I was looking for that one guy that specifically did the thing" and we'd tell him off for being a dumb vigilante and that's that.

He's literally saying if someone from a group did something then he was out on the streets with a weapon looking for someone from that group to potentially kill. WTF?

I'm not saying it's unforgivable at all just that it is a massive red flag.

I get what he was trying to do but... it's a crazy crazy thing to admit to.

Sorry, I should have added that if this did happen in Ireland and the perpetrator had been described as Irish then I am not believing that Neeson would have just went out looking for an Irishman to get in a fight with. The minority status of the alleged perpetrator was his focus, in my opinion.
 
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Likes: mekes
Jun 30, 2013
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Yeah it’s still kind of bonkers, but I can somewhat understand it as him being a product of his environment. Near enough every unlawful aggression suffered revenge acts in N.I in this time period. Lots against targeted groups rather than specific individuals. A better course of action would have been to not tell this particular story.
 
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Yeah it’s still kind of bonkers, but I can somewhat understand it as him being a product of his environment. Near enough every unlawful aggression suffered revenge acts in N.I in this time period. Lots against targeted groups rather than specific individuals. A better course of action would have been to not tell this particular story.
Agreed.

At least Liam Neeson managed to rise above the sectarian tribalism of Northern Ireland.
At a time when Protestants and Catholics were at each others throats, and when violence was escalating, Liam Neeson didn't get involved in that religous hate.
No no no. He was out hunting for black people.

What an absolute cretin. He SHOULD be raked over the coals for this and I guess he will be.

It's just somewhat baffling that he would even admit to this. If his story is even true.

"How should we promote our new movie in the USA?"
"I dunno, maybe tell them about the time I prowled the streets looking for black people to beat up."

Stressful times for his PR people. :)
Maybe he can get a gig selling rope, bleach and MAGA hats in Chicago after this.
 
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Mar 16, 2009
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Agreed.

At least Liam Neeson managed to rise above the sectarian tribalism of Northern Ireland.
At a time when Protestants and Catholics were at each others throats, and when violence was escalating, Liam Neeson didn't get involved in that religous hate.
No no no. He was out hunting for black people.

What an absolute cretin. He SHOULD be raked over the coals for this and I guess he will be.

It's just somewhat baffling that he would even admit to this. If his story is even true.

"How should we promote our new movie in the USA?"
"I dunno, maybe tell them about the time I prowled the streets looking for black people to beat up."

Stressful times for his PR people. :)
Maybe he can get a gig selling rope, bleach and MAGA hats in Chicago after this.

"sectarian tribalism" isn't all other things being equal merely group hatred it's also honor culture that arises from a weak state or norms against police with a mindset of groups holding themselves to account on threat of violence.
 
Jun 22, 2018
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He shouldve done it from the beginning.

It should have been part of the interview he gave.

Casually recalling that time you let your anger be an excuse for planning to commit a race fuelled murder without also going into details about HOW and WHY you believe you actions and discrimination were unacceptable sn't a thing you can do without expecting some backlash.

I mean he does start to muse and reflect at the end, but it's only about revenge and how humans like to see violence........nothing about the horrible racism that he would have been harbouring to allow him to decide that a black person needs to die because he's upset.

Edit:
Today I learned: Having 70% white population instead of 72% white population is by definition the same thing as purposeful killing, extermination and destruction of white people. Apparently.
The way I see this incident is that he didn't try to kill someone just because they were black, it just so happened that the person that raped his friend was black so that was where his anger went towards. In his interview on what I believe was The Today Show, he said if it had been any other race he'd have done the same thing. It wasn't racially motivated (in that he didn't decide to go ape shit BECAUSE the person was black) but he went ape shit because the person who was black raped his close friend.
That's my take on it anyway.
 
May 24, 2005
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This will probably blow over but looking at comments for example on the Variety article it was pretty clearly a mistake for him to share this due to levels of reading comprehension on the internet, racism as moral-impurity taboo, and media glomming onto a story-as-controversy for clicks.

anyhow this op-ed got the point of what Neeson was attempting to do:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/05/opinions/liam-neeson-interview-racism-courage-joseph/index.html
But we can't expect everyone to "get" it. That's not possible. There will always be a percentage of people that don't comprehend exactly what you're trying to say. And to me, he seems to regret the revenge factor, more than the racism issue.
 
Jan 27, 2018
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And to me, he seems to regret the revenge factor, more than the racism issue.
That's the part he needs to correct if he wants to get past this. I'm not someone to jump to accusations of racism lightly, but while "I went out looking for black people to kill" does represent a violent urge for revenge, it's also pretty tremendously racist. Neeson seems to not know how to apologize for that, or even that he should.

Edit: I appreciate some of you taking the angle that Neeson was only using "black" as a description in order to locate the assailant. That really fails to line up with his original wording or the clarification he offered on Good Morning America:

After that there were some nights I went out deliberately into black areas in the city looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence
He was not searching for one black person. He was looking to kill any black person. There's a big difference.
 
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May 24, 2005
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That's the part he needs to correct if he wants to get past this. I'm not someone to jump to accusations of racism lightly, but while "I went out looking for black people to kill" does represent a violent urge for revenge, it's also pretty tremendously racist. Neeson seems to not know how to apologize for that, or even that he should.
Which brings to question, what was his motive for even talking about this situation that happened decades ago? How does he not realize the point that you just made (and you made it so easy in one post on an internet forum)?
 
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AV

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May 31, 2018
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Surprising no-one, this story has had no impact on his immediate career, as his latest film has done just fine. What's interesting is how some outlets are choosing to cover it. Vulture.com, for example, are claiming that "Liam Neeson's Cold Pursuit does Very Badly at the Box Office", because it earned 1/5 of Taken 2. And yet it was still number 3 that weekend (source: https://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/). How this constitutes as "very badly" is beyond me.
 
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Fbh

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Dec 6, 2013
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Surprising no-one, this story has had no impact on his immediate career, as his latest film has done just fine. What's interesting is how some outlets are choosing to cover it. Vulture.com, for example, are claiming that "Liam Neeson's Cold Pursuit does Very Badly at the Box Office", because it earned 1/5 of Taken 2. And yet it was still number 3 that weekend (source: https://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/). How this constitutes as "very badly" is beyond me.
Not only was it number 3 during the weekend but it performed in line with recent non-Taken Liam Nesson movies.
Some publications will try to give it a negative twists though because they can't have people (and executives) slowly starting to figure out that twitter lynch mobs are just a vocal minority that shouldn't be listened to
 
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Modern public is sociopatic. People are incapable of feeling empathy and putting themselves in other people's shoes. The times when you could share a personal story like this in public are long gone.