Spike Lee speaks out on Liam Neeson’s rape revenge comments: ‘I don’t understand what he was doing’

The acclaimed director also said he was no longer planning to cast the actor in an upcoming film

Spike Lee has spoken out about Liam Neeson’s comments about seeking revenge on a black person after a friend of his was raped. 

The actor recently shared a story about his reaction to finding out his friend had been raped, saying he had hoped “some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at [him] about something […] so that I could kill him.”

Now, Lee has given his view on the situation during an appearance on The Andrew Marr Show. “I don’t know why he did it but he did it so he’s going through it now,” he said. “I don’t understand what he was doing. It’s a crazy, crazy, bizarre world we live in.”


Spike Lee
Liam Neeson

The director went on to say he had once tried to cast Neeson for a film that was still to receive funding. “We haven’t got the money for that film but one day we will,” he said. “But I don’t think I’ll be going back to him. He’s too old now. That was a long time ago. It’s bad all around.”

Lee added: “I heard he was promoting his new movie about revenge. I know he is Catholic. Is this a form of confession?”

After a backlash against him had begun, Neeson insisted he wasn’t racist. “We all pretend we’re all politically correct,” he said. “But sometimes you just scratch the service and you discover this racism and bigotry, and it’s there.”

The star’s comments were made while he was promoting the new film Cold Pursuit. In it, he plays a snowplow driver seeking revenge on drug dealers he thinks are responsible for his son’s death. The New York premiere for the movie was pulled hours before it was due to start as his remarks continued to attract controversy.


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