Speed Reads

world's worst press tour

Liam Neeson says he's 'not racist' after shocking story about wanting to kill a black man

Liam Neeson spent an entire Good Morning America appearance on Tuesday trying to explain that he's not a racist after a stunning interview went viral and drew widespread outrage.

In an interview published Monday, the actor told a shocking story about how he once wanted to arbitrarily murder a black person when he found out his friend was allegedly raped by a black man. He described going out with a weapon every night for about a week hoping to get into a fight with a black person so he could kill them.

After his comments set off a firestorm, Neeson spoke with Good Morning America, but for the most part, he simply repeated the same story and again said he was shocked by his "primal urge to lash out." "I'm not racist," Neeson told Robin Roberts. "This was nearly 40 years ago."

This time, however, Neeson added the detail 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." When asked if he thinks he really would have carried out the attack, he said, "Yes." He defended himself by claiming that he asked for other details about the perpetrator other than skin color and "definitely" would have had the same reaction if the person was white.

The actor additionally said he "did seek help" at the time, by going to see a priest and doing some "power walking." When asked what lessons can be learned from this, Neeson encouraged the audience to "talk about these things" because "we all pretend we're kind of politically correct" but "sometimes you scratch the surface and discover this racism and bigotry." He concluded by attempting to get in a last-second plug for his new movie Cold Pursuit. "See the movie," he said. "It's a good movie, by the way." Brendan Morrow