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Liam Neeson Appears on ‘Atlanta’ and Addresses 2019 Racism Controversy, Fans React

Actor Liam Neeson is the latest celebrity to make an appearance on Donald Glover’s critically acclaimed series “Atlanta.” During the Thursday, May 5, episode, the “Taken” star apologized for an admission he made in 2019, in which he expressed an urge to kill a random Black person after a close friend was sexually assaulted by a Black man.

The 69-year-old briefly appeared on Thursday, May 5, in an episode titled “New Jazz,” alongside Brian Tyree Henry’s character Paper Boi both of whom were seen sitting at a bar. Paper Boi picks up his drink shortly afterward, unveiling a napkin that reads “CANCEL CLUB.”

REDDITCH, ENGLAND – MARCH 21: Liam Neeson appears on screen as he plays the role of the Journalist George Herbert during the dress rehearsal of Jeff Wayne’s “The War Of The Worlds” stage tour on March 21, 2022 in Redditch, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Neeson tells him, “You might’ve heard or read about my transgression — you know, what I said about what I wanted to do to a Black guy. Any Black guy, when I was a younger man. A friend of mine had been raped, and I acted out of anger.”

The Irish star said in hindsight ”It honestly frightens me.” He continued, “I thought people, knowing who I once was, [that it would] would make clear who I am, who I’ve become. But, with all that being said … I am sorry. I apologize if I hurt people.” Paper Boi tells the actor that between the two men, he still loves his movies before adding, “It’s good to know that you don’t hate Black people.”

Neeson quickly corrected the rapper, stating, “What? No, no, no, I can’t stand a lot of you.” He added, “Now I feel that way because you tried to ruin my career. Didn’t succeed, mind you. I’m sure one day I’ll get over it, but until then, we are mortal enemies.”

“But didn’t you learn that you shouldn’t say sh-t like that?” a confused Paper Boi questioned before Neeson said, “Aye. But I also learned that the best and worst part about being white is you don’t have to learn anything if you don’t want to” and walks off.

Neeson’s apology was seemingly well received as fans hurried over to their social media accounts to react to Neeson’s commentary, including one Twitter user who wrote, “They really got Liam Neeson to say the quiet part out loud on #AtlantaFX.”

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Another person commented, “I don’t know how Donald Glover convinced Liam Neeson to say he still got beef with black ppl on TV but that episode of Atlanta is insanity.”

“Yooo, that Liam Neeson scene is sending me. Is this a confessional?” wrote a third person. “#AtlantaFX be on some multiverse sh-t.”

Neeson’s shocking revelation came during an interview with The Independent while promoting his film “Cold Pursuit,” an action-thriller film where Neeson’s character seeks revenge for his son’s murder. Drawing similarities to his own experience, the actor revealed that he wanted to avenge the rape of a friend.

“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.” The backlash poured in almost immediately.

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