Piers Morgan compared Liam Neeson to the ‘KKK’ and slams him for the ‘purest personification of racism’ on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday after the actor sparked a race row over his comments on rape.
Liam, 66, had said he had wandered around looking for a ‘black b***ard to kill’ in a misguided attempt at rage after learning that a loved one had been raped.
But Piers, 53, said Liam could not blame stupidity or ignorance for his choice of wording as he asserted that the offence he caused was ‘deliberate.’
View: Piers Morgan slammed Liam Neeson on GMB on Tuesday for his ‘career-ending’ comments on rape which sparked race row… as he asserted his words were ‘offensive and deliberate’
He said: ‘I’ve met him a few times, he’s a very good guy to interview, very intelligent, so you can’t blame stupidity for this.
‘When you hear it coming from his own mouth, it’s one of the most extraordinary interviews I’ve think I’ve ever heard in my entire life.
‘There seems to be no self awareness in Neeson about how offensive what he’s saying is.’
Revenge: Liam ignited a race row after revealing he walked the streets with a weapon looking for a ‘black b*****d’ to kill after a loved one ‘was raped’ as he was branded a ‘racist’ who ‘should be banned from Oscars’
He continued: ‘He knows what he’s saying, it’s not an accident, he’s deliberately putting it out there. It’s the indiscriminate nature of what he’s saying.’
Piers was staggered by Liam’s choice of words, saying: ‘I think if you’re a black person in Britain, America, anywhere in the world, it’s as offensive as it gets, isn’t it?
‘This is a major, major movie star wanting to know immediately the colour of someone who raped his friend.
Piers added: ‘If I was a black man, I would just find that unspeakable. Just the purest personification of racism, right there.
‘Because a black person might have done a bad thing to my friend, I’m going to kill any black person I can find. That is racism! That is Ku Klux Klan stuff, sorry it is!’
‘Once he found out the person was black, going out for one week – not just a moment of madness – for a whole week, armed with a cosh, looking for any black person that could anger him in his words “to kill them”. Think about that for a moment.’
Both Piers and his co-star Andi Peters, believed that this interview could potentially be ‘career-ending’ for the Taken star.
He said: ‘The reaction on Twitter was very extreme last night – people were saying it’s a career-ending interview.
Not impressed: Both Piers and his co-star Andi Peters, believed that this interview could potentially be ‘career-ending’ for the Taken star
‘You don’t want it to be of someone of his stature, but when you actually hear him say this stuff, there will be genuine, fully justified outrage.’
Later in the show, Piers spoke to Andi to about his thoughts on the matter and he addressed the fact that when Liam heard about the rape, his first question was, “what colour was he?”
Andi said: ‘For his instinct to be “what colour?” that’s what I find really offensive.
‘I was devastated and I think it should be career ending as you just can’t say things like that, it’s completely unacceptable.’
Andi said: ‘For his instinct to be “what colour?” that’s what I find really offensive. ‘It’s completely unacceptable’
The day before, Liam was branded a racist who should be banned from the Oscars after speaking for the first time about his extreme reaction when he learned a loved one had allegedly been raped while he was overseas.
During an interview with the Independent to promote his new film Cold Pursuit, the actor described how he walked the streets looking for a ‘black b*****d’ to kill in a misguided attempt at revenge.
He was subsequently branded a ‘racist’ on Twitter who ‘should be banned from the Oscars.’
Piers continued: ‘He knows what he’s saying, it’s not an accident, he’s deliberately putting it out there. It’s the indiscriminate nature of what he’s saying’
Liam’s new movie sees the action star take on the role of a father intent on revenge after his son has been killed in a drug feud, with Liam revealing he understands his character’s motivation.
He explained: ‘There’s something primal – God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions.’
He said that after coming home from an overseas trip years ago he was told a loved one, who he does not name, had been raped.
New role: During the interview with the Independent to promote his new film Cold Pursuit (pictured), the actor, 66, described how he walked the streets looking for a ‘black b*****d’ to kill
Liam said: ‘She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way. But my immediate reaction was I asked, 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 ‘black b******d’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.’
He went on: ‘It took me a week, maybe a week and a half, to go through that. She would say, “Where are you going?” and I would say, “I’m just going out for a walk.” You know? “What’s wrong?” “No no, nothing’s wrong.'”
He admitted it was a ‘horrible’ time and he’s learned a valuable lesson from his ‘awful’ reaction. He added that growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles has given him insight into the ‘primal need for revenge’ and how destructive that can be.
Opinions: Liam’s words ignited a race row on Twitter from fans and some said he shouldn’t be asked to host the Oscars after Kevin Hart was forced to step down after his historic homophobic tweets resurfaced
Liam’s words ignited a race row on Twitter from fans and one said he should not be invited to host the Oscars, although he isn’t thought to have been asked.
This comment follows the news that Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars after homophobic tweets resurfaced from between 2009-2011.
They wrote on social media: ‘Every Virtue Signaller on social media: Wow that actor is a racist.’
‘Result: Twitter pile on and no invite to host Oscars for Liam Neeson.’
Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars after homophobic tweets resurfaced from between 2009-2011
They also wrote: ‘Well, I’ve seen it all now. Liam Neeson admitted to going around trying to find a black person to kill because someone he was close to got raped by a black person, and the journalist spoke to a psychologist to help contextualise his racism and included it in the article? WILD.
‘Liam Neeson 1) says he wanted to kill a random black man over an unrelated crime 2) thought this was an anecdote he could share to promote his movie.’
‘Wow so Liam Neeson is f***ing cancelled. So if the guy was white you’d go stalking the streets to find a random, unrelated white person to kill? Scumbag.’
‘Congratulations to everyone who had money on Liam Neeson getting canceled this week in their 2019 Canceled Celebs company pool. Didn’t see that one coming.’
‘Liam Neeson’s racist? Kmt man. Another one of my legends has got to go.’
Not happy: Liam’s fans were disappointed by what he said in his interview and took to Twitter to express their thoughts
‘Imagine if Liam Neeson had stopped looking for his daughter in Taken, just picked a random girl out the street & was like “yup, that’ll do”. That s**t doesn’t even make sense in the movies, so why he thought it would make sense in real life is beyond me.
‘Interviewer: liam do you mean the specific rapist? Liam Neeson: i’d like to kill any black man but not in a racist way.’
‘The reactions to Liam Neeson’s interview is as expected. Some people saying he’s cancelled, others calling him “brave” for admitting he wanted to murder black men. There are, fortunately, a few people giving nuanced takes.’
‘Disappointed but not at all surprised that Liam Neeson attempts to justify his blatant racism by blaming trauma experienced by someone that isn’t him.’
‘Can you imagine a black actor saying what Liam Neeson said, only, “I walked around with a cosh looking for any white man to kill” and the journalist going “uh-huh..let me just go speak to a psychologist to explain your mindset at the time”?…NAW!!’
Something to say: Fans took to Twitter in their droves to write about their feelings following the interview
Different view: It as suggested that Liam’s words followed some sort of breakdown
A couple of people sympathised with Liam a little.
They wrote: ‘I feel like liam neeson is trying to admit that he had a massive emotional and psychological breakdown but i can’t tell.
‘Actor: Here’s a truthful story about a time I was a young man and was so angry I acted totally irrationally.’
Liam plays Nels Coxman in Cold Pursuit, a small town snowplow operator intent on tracking down the drug dealers he believes to be responsible for the death of his son.
Big screen star: Although winning widespread acclaim for his role in violent thrillers such as the Taken franchise, in September 2017 Liam said he was done with the genre
The film is a remake of 2014 Norwegian film In Order Of Disappearance and also stars Emmy Rossum and Laura Dern.
Although winning widespread acclaim for his role in violent thrillers such as the Taken franchise, in September 2017 Liam said he was done with the genre, only to return this year with Cold Pursuit.
At the time, Neeson said that he planned to stop even though it’s hard to turn down the lucrative offers he gets thanks to his box-office success in the three Taken films, as well as other thrillers.
Action man: Liam has has critical acclaim and huge box office success over the past decade with his revenge-based thrillers (pictured in 2011’s The Grey)
‘The thrillers, that was all a pure accident,’ said Neeson. ‘They’re still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff. I’m like, “Guy’s I’m sixty-f—ing-five.” Audiences are eventually going to go, “Come on.”‘
Liam has had a troubled personal life.
Only three weeks ago, he learned that his nephew, Ronan Sexton, passed away, five years after suffering catastrophic head injuries in a 20ft fall from the top of a phonebox.
Ronan was partying with friends in Brighton in June 2014 when he climbed up the kiosk on the city’s seafront but slipped and landed in a concrete subway below.
The tragedy came nine years after the death of Neeson’s wife of 15 years, Natasha Richardson, who suffered a fatal head injury during a ski trip in 2009.
And in yet more heartbreak for the family Ronan’s mother lost her partner Harry Shannon two years ago.
Tragedies that hit the Catholic boy who grew up in a Protestant town
By David Wilkes for the Daily Mail
Horrific: Liam sadly lost his wife Natasha Richardson in 2009 after she hit her head and died in a skiing accident
Reflecting on his upbringing, Liam Neeson once said that growing up a Catholic in a predominantly Protestant town in Northern Ireland during the 1950s and 1960s made him ‘cautious’.
By the time he went to university in the late Sixties and early Seventies and the Troubles had started, however, the caretaker’s son from Ballymena, County Antrim, was beginning to understand all too well another more powerful, and potentially destructive, motivating force.
Friends were caught up in the sectarian violence and some men he knew even went on hunger strike in prison. ‘I understand that need for revenge,’ the Hollywood actor said
Neeson’s life has been marred by tragedy. His wife Natasha Richardson, mother of his two sons, died following a skiing accident in March 2009. The 45-year-old British actress died in hospital in New York two days after hitting her head in a fall at a resort in Canada.
Last month his nephew, Ronan Sexton, 35, died from severe head injuries he suffered five years ago. Mr Sexton fell from the top of a phone box on the Brighton seafront during a 4am dare.
Following Miss Richardson’s death, Neeson admitted that he started drinking too much. But he gave up alcohol after he realised it was getting out of hand.
He told GQ magazine in 2014: ‘Never at work, never would do it like that. But this time of night? Sitting with you, I’d easily have… I’d be on my second bottle. Before we finished, I would have been halfway down a third.’
Neeson became a household name after appearing in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film Schindler’s List.
Tragedy: Liam has had a troubled personal life. Only three weeks ago, he learned that his nephew, Ronan Sexton, passed away, five years after suffering catastrophic head injuries in a 20ft fall from the top of a phonebox
He was nominated for a best actor Academy Award for playing Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during the Second World War.
He went on to star in Michael Collins, about the battle for Irish independence, and attracted a younger fanbase as a Jedi master in 1999’s Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace.
He was in Love Actually in 2003 before films such as Taken saw him find a new career as an action hero.