Christian actress Sherri Shepherd says Liam Neeson’s racist comments should have been ‘kept inside’
Article By Evette Nordstram // EEW Magazine
After a British newspaper published an interview in which actor Liam Neeson discussed wanting to kill a random black person nearly 40 years ago when a close friend told him she had been raped by a black man, the backlash was swift and brutal.
Christian actress, Sherri Shepherd, who was not shy about expressing her disapproval, told TMZ, “I think that was a story he should have kept inside in his home with his friends.”
Many agree with her.
Neeson’s new Lionsgate release, Cold Pursuit, which tells the story of a father who seeks violent revenge for his son’s death, opened this weekend at the box office. Hanging over the opening is the offensive rhetoric he spewed to The Independent. Neeson said, upon discovering the race of his loved one’s attacker, he “went up and down areas with a cosh (stick or truncheon)” hoping a black person “would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”
51-year-old Shepherd personally believes that twisted story “should have never gotten out.”
But, it’s too late now.
66-year-old Neeson, who went on “Good Morning America” to explain his past racist thoughts, told interviewer Robin Roberts, he is not a racist and moved past his desire for violence after seeking help from a priest and from friends—and power walking daily.
“We all pretend we’re kind of politically correct,” said the action film star who grew up in Northern Ireland. “I mean, in this country, it’s the same in my own country too, you sometimes just scratch the surface and you discover this racism and bigotry, and it’s there.”
By revealing the racism in his own heart, Neeson angered some of his African-American fans who very well may have punished him at the box office.
Cold Pursuit pulled in a modest $10.2M Friday, placing it on track to take the No. 3 slot behind Lego Movie 3, and Will Packer’s Taraji P. Henson-led, What Men Want.
Despite many African-American moviegoers disavowing Neeson’s disparaging comments and swearing off going to see his movies after his disturbing confession, according to Deadline, Cold Pursuit’s less-than-stellar opening weekend numbers have less to do with Neeson’s racially offensive and insensitive commentary, and more to do with the fact that “he’s made way too many man-with-the-gun movies.”
If you ask the public, however, the only problematic smoking gun is Neeson’s racist commentary.