Social media users are now demanding that actor Liam Neeson be digitally scrubbed from the upcoming film Men in Black after he made controversial comments about having a racist impulse some 40 years ago.
Liam Neeson, 66, said in an interview with The Independent that he had fantasized about killing a random black person after someone close to him was raped by who she claimed was a black man.
“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 bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him,” he said. “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” he added. It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it.”
After the remarks stirred controversy, Neeson defended himself on ABC’s Good Morning America, insisting that he was not a racist.
“We all pretend we’re all politically correct in this country… in mine, too,” Neeson explained. “You sometimes just scratch the surface and you discover this racism and bigotry and it’s there.”
However, Neeson’s explanation proved insufficient for some social media users, who have since called on viewers to boycott his films and demand that he be digitally scrubbed from Men in Black: International:
If they can magically de-age every actor in the MCU, they can digitally replace Liam Neeson in MIB and they should
— ᕱოᕱภᎠᕱ (@bigbang) February 4, 2019
@MenInBlack boycott Men In Black the gutless coward Liam Neeson said he was walking around looking to kill an innocent black man who had nothing to do with his personal issues he's a gutless coward and a racist bigot boycott Men in Black
— Denn Grey (@DennGrey) February 4, 2019
There should be a total boycott of Liam Neeson's movies. He is a revolting racist #boycottliamneeson
— James Celestine (@James22599231) February 5, 2019
It is currently unclear whether any major action will be taken against Neeson following his comments. However, the New York premiere of his latest film Cold Pursuit was abruptly canceled on Tuesday, while his scheduled appearance on Friday’s edition of Late Show with Stephen Colbert has also been called off.