Liam Neeson found himself in hot water yesterday following the publication of an interview with The Independent.
In the article, Liam Neeson said he wanted to kill a “black bastard” after his female friend was raped.
In an interview today with Good Morning America, he discussed the comments he made and attempted to clarify what he meant by them.
"I'm not a racist," Neeson told GMA's Robin Roberts. He said he felt a "primal urge to lash out" upon discovering that that his friend was brutally raped.
After learning that the unknown assailant was African American he: "went out deliberately into black areas in the city, looking to be set upon so I could unleash physical violence. I did it maybe four or five times.
He continued: "It shocked me and it hurt me.... I did seek help, I went to a priest."
He said that exercise, specifically power-walking, helped. He also contributed part of the instinct for violence to growing up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Neeson said he would have had the same reaction if his friend said the rapist was a white man.
"I know I would have had the same effect," he said. "I was trying to show honor and stand up for my dear friend in this terrible, medieval fashion.
"I’m a fairly intelligent guy and that’s why it shocked me when I came down to Earth after having these horrible feelings. Luckily, no violence occurred ever."
Neeson said he hoped the matter is a teachable moment. He expressed a desire for broader conversations to take place to stamp out true racism and bigotry.