Lionsgate on Tuesday canned the red carpet for the New York City premiere of Liam Neeson’s new film “Cold Pursuit,” after the actor admitted decades-old thoughts of wanting to kill some “black bastard” when a close friend told him she was raped.
Neeson made the comments during an interview with The Independent, which was published Monday. The 66-year-old actor said he experienced a “primal urge to lash out,” after a friend told him she was raped by a black man.
“After that, there were some nights I went out deliberately into black areas in this city, looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence. I did it for maybe four or five times. It really shocked me, this primal urge I had. It shocked me and it hurt me. I did seek help. I went to a priest. I had two very good friends I talked to, and believe it or not — power walking — to get rid of this.”
Neeson appeared on “Good Morning America” Tuesday morning where he said his comments were taken out of context. He told interviewer Robin Roberts he is not a racist and moved past his desire for violence after seeking help from a priest and from friends.
A premiere of the film without the red carpet was still scheduled for New York City’s AMC Loews Lincoln Square, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Cold Pursuit,” a remake of a 2014 Norwegian film, is slated for a wider release on Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.