Neeson appeared on “Good Morning America” Tuesday to clarify his comments in an interview with The Independent where he admitted to wanting to "unleash physical violence" against a black man after a close friend revealed she had been brutally raped. On "GMA," he said he is not a racist.
"It shocked me and it hurt me ... I did seek help, I went to a priest,” he said on GMA. "Luckily no violence occurred.”
Sunny Hostin said she was “confused” about his comments.
“I understand very well how you would feel if a loved one was harmed and how you would want to harm the person who did that to them — the person that did that,” Hostin said. “What I can't understand is how you would go out and seek a random person of the same race to harm because that for me sounds like a modern-day lynching to me.”
“For Liam to still be using that as his experience as his inspiration to tap into... I didn’t understand, I still don't understand,” Hostin said, referring to the revenge-seeking roles he has played.
Meghan McCain said sometimes we like to believe “racism and bigotry and homophobia is something of the past,” and Neeson’s comments are a stark reminder that “maybe we haven’t come as far” and we need to continue having conversations about how far we still need to go.
“Although he was seeking out to act on this, he did not commit a hate crime and it is good that he recognizes the deep darkness and offense and bigotry that was inside him at that moment and sought help,” McCain said.
Abby Huntsman said it was important to acknowledge Neeson’s honesty and bravery for confronting this dark moment of his past.
“It's the lack of these types of conversations that don't get us anywhere and so seeing him out there on a morning show saying “I admit I struggled, I had these dark thoughts’... saying ‘I was wrong to feel that way’... I found that helpful and maybe can move the conversation to a better place,” Huntsman said.
Whoopi Goldberg also mentioned how she had experienced certain things that have made her think about "what someone is."
“People walk around sometimes with rage! That’s what happens,” Goldberg said. “Let us not forget we've seen this in other people and perhaps in ourselves. So, you can't be surprised that somebody whose loved one is attacked is angry and wants to go out and attack."
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