‘I’m not a racist,’ actor Liam Neeson says after revenge remarks

In this file photo taken on September 8, 2018 Irish actor Liam Neeson arrives at the premiere of 'Widows' at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario. (AFP)
Updated 22 February 2019
0

‘I’m not a racist,’ actor Liam Neeson says after revenge remarks

  • The Irish star of the new film “Cold Pursuit,” told US television that “I’m not a racist”

LOS ANGELES: Actor Liam Neeson denied on Tuesday being a racist after disclosing in an interview that he had wanted to kill a black man in response to the rape of a friend who said her attacker was black.
Responding to the backlash his comments had drawn, the 66-year-old Irish star of the new film “Cold Pursuit,” told the US television network ABC’s “Good Morning America” that “I’m not a racist.”
Neeson said he had learned that society needed to have a larger discussion to end racism and bigotry.
On Monday, Neeson told the British newspaper The Independent that he related to characters in his movies such as “Taken” who seek revenge when someone close to them is hurt. He said a female friend told him decades ago that she had been raped by a man who was black.
Neeson told the newspaper he had spent “maybe a week” walking near pubs with a heavy stick and “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 Independent said Neeson put air quotes around the term “black bastard.” The newspaper posted audio from the interview on its website.
On Tuesday, Neeson told “GMA” that he had felt a “primal urge to lash out” at the time.
“I went out deliberately into black areas in the city, looking to be set upon,” he said. “It shocked me and it hurt me ... I did seek help, I went to a priest.”
Neeson said no violence occurred. He said he would have been looking for a white man if his friend had identified her attacker as white.
“It was horrible, horrible when I think back, that I did that,” Neeson said on “GMA. “It’s awful, but I did learn a lesson from it.”


Aladdin’s Naomi Scott walks the (magic) carpet in Los Angeles

Scott walked the orange carpet at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. AFP
Updated 24 March 2019
0

Aladdin’s Naomi Scott walks the (magic) carpet in Los Angeles

DUBAI: British-Indian “Aladdin” actress Naomi Scott strutted down the orange carpet at the Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday night, while Lebanese teenage singing sensation Lynn Al-Hayek was voted the “Favorite Arab Music Artist” by her fans.

This year’s kid-friendly show was hosted by US-Palestinian producer and social media star DJ Khaled and saw the stars of the upcoming live-action version of Disney’s “Aladdin” — Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott — hit the orange carpet before they floated down onto the stage on a platform made to look like Aladdin’s magic carpet.  

Before taking to the stage, Scott walked the carpet in a soda-orange, feathered coat with a silvery, metallic sweatshirt underneath. She finished off the fun look with black drainpipe trousers and shiny boots.

The annual award show is famous for dousing celebrity attendees with green slime, much to the delight of the children in the audience. This year, Hollywood’s Chris Pratt, Josh Peck and Adam Sandler were soaked from head to toe and the show culminated with DJ Khaled blanketing both himself and the crowd in green goo.

There was no shortage of star power at the event, with the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Janelle Monáe, Bebe Rexha and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh spotted in the audience.

Two Arab stars even made it into the list of winners — teenage singer Lynn Al-Hayek, who won The Voice Kids in 2016, and internet blogger Noor Stars took home awards for Favorite Arab Music Artist and Favorite Arab Internet Star respectively.

Hip-hop trio Migos performed their hits “Walk It Talk It” and “Stir Fry,” along with rising single “Pure Water,” accompanied by DJ Durel before adrenaline-packed teenage YouTube star JoJo Siwa forced DJ Khaled to don one of her signature hair bows after he lost a dance battle.