Piers Morgan slams Liam Neeson over racist scandal: 'He deserves severe condemnation'

Jaimie-lee Prince
Feb 05, 2019
09:13 P.M.
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Piers Morgan lashed out at Liam Neeson for a story the actor told about wanting to kill a black man 40 years ago. 

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Morgan spoke about Neeson's interview in which the latter said a close female friend of his got raped 40 years ago. The only detail Neeson learned was that the attacker was black. 

He said that afterward, he hoped a "black bastard" would have a row with him so that he could kill him. Outrage immediately spread online. Morgan, co-host of "Good Morning Britain," strongly condemned Neeson in a series of tweets as well as on air.

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Morgan said: 

"There seems to be no awareness of just how offensive what he's saying is. [...] It's not an accident. He's deliberately putting it out there."

He said the actor's actions were "like Ku Klux Klan stuff." Not only was he aware of the atrociousness in sharing the story, but it's the "indiscriminate [nature] of this revenge."

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Morgan explained: "He's not talking about revenge on the person who raped his friend, he's talking about any black person who [gets in] his way who he can find an excuse to kill!" 

The host said any repercussions including an end to Neeson's career and the expected outrage would be "fully justified." 

Later, Morgan compared the "extraordinary" interview to that of Mel Gibson's situation in 2004. 

He said: 

"The only parallel I can think of is Mel Gibson who said some horrendous things to his Russian girlfriend or wife at the time. He was very racist when he said it." 

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He continued: 

"The only difference here with Liam Neeson is he's talking about himself and his own thought process, which was for an entire week - not a moment of madness, but a seven-day rampage around the streets, waiting to for any black person to say the wrong thing so he could kill him."

He added: 

"I would be very surprised if Liam Neeson's career is not now in very serious trouble. If I was a black person, I would not want to see this guy's movies. So racist."

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Clemence Michallon was the interviewer who heard Neeson's story while he was supposed to be promoting his new movie "Cold Pursuit. She sat down on "Good Morning Britain" after the backlash.

She said

"You do not go into a movie press junket expecting to hear that story. What I felt immediately was a strong sense of responsibility and duty to tell the story sensitively."

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Michallon concluded that it was "up to the studio and moviegoers to tell" if this would be the end of Neeson's career. She said, "he's not the first actor [to say controversial things]."

Regardless, many persons online expressed their anger with some even giving the comments a humorous twist. One person simply said, "Shame on you Liam Neeson."

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On Tuesday, Neeson appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and defended his claim of not being racist. He said he would have reacted the same way had it been a person of another color or nationality.

He explained: 

"If she had said an Irish or a Scot or a Brit or a Lithuanian I would - I know I would - have had the same effect. I was trying to show honor, to stand up for my dear friend in this terribly medieval fashion."

He revealed that he sought help at the time for the extreme emotions. "It shocked me, and it hurt me. I did seek help." He also walked two hours each day and went to confession.

Still, the actor's career may be at risk following the disturbing story he voluntarily shared. We anticipate the fallout from the developing situation.

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