Liam Neeson

DeVlaeminck
DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,761
edited February 2019 in The cake stop
So Liam Neeson's career may, according to some, effectively be over because of his remarks about how he reacted to a friend being raped.

I'm taking it as read that none of us think his behaviour at the time was justified but is it right to condemn him now for admitting the faults of the person he was back then?

I'm white so maybe that influences my judgement on this but it seems to be a good thing if people can come out and say I used to think this but I now recognise it as wrong.
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Comments

  • haydenm
    haydenm Posts: 2,997
    If people were able to admit they were wrong more freely without being publicly crucified things would be a lot better, politics for one...

    At the same time, just reading his comments he would have been better just to shut up and not say anything. I have no idea what I would have done in his situation though, it's easy to judge
  • HaydenM wrote:
    If people were able to admit they were wrong more freely without being publicly crucified things would be a lot better, politics for one...

    At the same time, just reading his comments he would have been better just to shut up and not say anything. I have no idea what I would have done in his situation though, it's easy to judge

    say your friend had been attacked by a man wearing glasses, would you have tooled up with the intention of sparking a violent confrontation with anybody wearing glasses?
  • But if I had then later seen the error of my ways / changed for the better should you judge me on that or what I am and have been since? Is he a racist or someone who was once struggling to cope with a bad situation but has since evolved?

    I really don't know but whether he's changed or not it was a stupid thing to bring it up when it wasn't necessary. Personally I'm not fussed which way the truth lies. I find his films ok to pass time by but they're all too similar. If he doesn't make another film then it's no problem. He's made enough money to live off and there's enough of his films made to see his full talent. If he made another one or not it matters not.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    say your friend had been attacked by a man wearing glasses, would you have tooled up with the intention of sparking a violent confrontation with anybody wearing glasses?

    Read the quote....
    "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 [uses air quotes with fingers] 'black bastard' would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him"
    his anger lasted a week - where he went around tooled up in the HOPE that someone of the same race as his friends attacker would have a go him - ie waiting for the other party to start it.
    Is it a rational thought? No - and he says as much ...

    Try controlling your anger when someone attacks your child - I'd say it'd be pretty impossible for most of us - extend that to an unknown attacker of your child where the only description you've got is their skin colour ...
  • Didn't he say that he asked if the attacker was black? Was that not leaning towards racist tendencies behind his mental instability or whatever it was you can justify his actions by?
  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,639
    He is also sexist for not including women in his potential targets for a coshing.
  • haydenm
    haydenm Posts: 2,997
    HaydenM wrote:
    If people were able to admit they were wrong more freely without being publicly crucified things would be a lot better, politics for one...

    At the same time, just reading his comments he would have been better just to shut up and not say anything. I have no idea what I would have done in his situation though, it's easy to judge

    say your friend had been attacked by a man wearing glasses, would you have tooled up with the intention of sparking a violent confrontation with anybody wearing glasses?

    No, but then I'd like to think I wouldn't roam around trying to murder black people either. The guy clearly had issues and I can't imagine being in his situation.
    Is he a racist or someone who was once struggling to cope with a bad situation but has since evolved?

    I'd like to think that's the case but maybe he is/was a massive racist. I can understand the need for revenge but the randomness of the target is hard to understand
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Didn't he say that he asked if the attacker was black?
    No - he said (BBC article) that he asked what colour the attacker was ... to which the reply was "black" - the article doesn't state if that was the first or only descriptive question asked. (the only other mentioned was if the victim knew the attacker)
    Was that not leaning towards racist tendencies behind his mental instability or whatever it was you can justify his actions by?
    No more racist than asking about hair colour/length/style - your skin colour is a distinguishing feature - immediately narrowing the field of possibilities - he's already established it was a bloke - so sexism there ...

    Am I justifying his actions? Or just understanding that when a friend is violated, there's a strong possibility that you'll act irrationally. The actor was just using this story as an example of what he used to draw on for his film he was promoting - where a father pursues people he think killed his son. Perhaps he should've toned down his descriptions slightly ...
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    HaydenM wrote:
    I'd like to think that's the case but maybe he is/was a massive racist. I can understand the need for revenge but the randomness of the target is hard to understand
    I think that's what he was getting at - with very little to go on and a friend who had been attacked - the thought wasn't rational - he just wanted revenge - and would've taken out his revenge on the first black person who had a go at him
  • HaydenM wrote:
    HaydenM wrote:
    If people were able to admit they were wrong more freely without being publicly crucified things would be a lot better, politics for one...

    At the same time, just reading his comments he would have been better just to shut up and not say anything. I have no idea what I would have done in his situation though, it's easy to judge

    say your friend had been attacked by a man wearing glasses, would you have tooled up with the intention of sparking a violent confrontation with anybody wearing glasses?

    No, but then I'd like to think I wouldn't roam around trying to murder black people either. The guy clearly had issues and I can't imagine being in his situation.
    Is he a racist or someone who was once struggling to cope with a bad situation but has since evolved?

    I'd like to think that's the case but maybe he is/was a massive racist. I can understand the need for revenge but the randomness of the target is hard to understand

    my point is that he obviously saw/sees black people as a homogenous group who can be punished collectively for a crime committed by one of them. I would be surprised if he saw white people, gingers, fat or people with glasses in a similar way.
  • john80
    john80 Posts: 2,965
    HaydenM wrote:
    HaydenM wrote:
    If people were able to admit they were wrong more freely without being publicly crucified things would be a lot better, politics for one...

    At the same time, just reading his comments he would have been better just to shut up and not say anything. I have no idea what I would have done in his situation though, it's easy to judge

    say your friend had been attacked by a man wearing glasses, would you have tooled up with the intention of sparking a violent confrontation with anybody wearing glasses?

    No, but then I'd like to think I wouldn't roam around trying to murder black people either. The guy clearly had issues and I can't imagine being in his situation.
    Is he a racist or someone who was once struggling to cope with a bad situation but has since evolved?

    I'd like to think that's the case but maybe he is/was a massive racist. I can understand the need for revenge but the randomness of the target is hard to understand

    my point is that he obviously saw black people as a homogenous group who can be punished collectively for a crime committed by one of them. I would be surprised if he saw white people, gingers, fat or people with glasses in a similar way.

    Fixed that for you as there is no evidence he still sees it this way unless he is still carrying a weapon waiting for someone to start on him who happens to be black. I think he does now recognise that it was irrational or more bluntly bat shit crazy.
  • chris_bass
    chris_bass Posts: 4,913
    The way I see it is that he clearly just wanted to kill any random black guy because of what had happened, not the particular person who attacked his friend. And this is clearly racist behaviour.

    If he wanted to attacked the actual person who attacked his friend he could have also asked height, age, clothing etc etc to help him find him.
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  • bianchimoon
    bianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    Most rational sane people would take their 'friend' straight to the police station and let the right people sort it out.
    I can't help thinking he's living in a delusional world where he thinks one of the enforcer characters he plays, he definitely needs/needed help with his issues.
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,916
    Most rational sane people would take their 'friend' straight to the police station and let the right people sort it out.
    I can't help thinking he's living in a delusional world where he thinks one of the enforcer characters he plays, he definitely needs/needed help with his issues.
    In another bit of the interview he talked about growing up knowing some of the people on hunger strike and involved with the paramilitaries. In that context going to the police station is a bit of a different thing.
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  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Everyone has dark thoughts. he did not act on them i.e actually hurt someone. He may never had even if at the time he hoped he would.

    If people get crucified for feeling and admitting how they felt then our world is messed up beyond redemption. Its what we do that counts and how we control ourselves. he did control himself. Hes is obviously not perfect show me someone who is. those that have expressed outrage are the ones to worry about.

    The world is full of rascist people. He found that in himself and has acknowleged it. Many dont, they are the ones to worry about.

    People sadly assume that someones views cannot change. they dont change instantly but can change over time. If we do hold the view that people cannot change we might as well all get together throw a big party and set of all our nukes and get it over with, because obviously we cant change.

    Everyone bluntly is a little bit racist or harbours some predujice. That called being human. Most people fail to see it in themsleves, those are the people to worry about.

    Revenge is a common thing. Some nations practice it as policy on a daily basis. We dont worry about them do we and still sell them weapons but we have a social media storm over someone who did not actually hurt someone, he just wished he had but later regreted having those thoughts and feelings.

    I am outraged at the outrage. Where does it end. I am in favour of turning of the internet for good. Where are those russian hackers when you need them.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,639
    Good job it wasn't a black Albanian. He might have killed hundreds.
  • Everyone has dark thoughts. he did not act on them i.e actually hurt someone. He may never had even if at the time he hoped he would.

    If people get crucified for feeling and admitting how they felt then our world is messed up beyond redemption. Its what we do that counts and how we control ourselves. he did control himself. Hes is obviously not perfect show me someone who is. those that have expressed outrage are the ones to worry about.

    The world is full of rascist people. He found that in himself and has acknowleged it. Many dont, they are the ones to worry about.

    People sadly assume that someones views cannot change. they dont change instantly but can change over time. If we do hold the view that people cannot change we might as well all get together throw a big party and set of all our nukes and get it over with, because obviously we cant change.

    Everyone bluntly is a little bit racist or harbours some predujice. That called being human. Most people fail to see it in themsleves, those are the people to worry about.

    Revenge is a common thing. Some nations practice it as policy on a daily basis. We dont worry about them do we and still sell them weapons but we have a social media storm over someone who did not actually hurt someone, he just wished he had but later regreted having those thoughts and feelings.

    I am outraged at the outrage. Where does it end. I am in favour of turning of the internet for good. Where are those russian hackers when you need them.

    I couldn't have put it better.
  • If it had been reported as something a journalist had uncovered that he had done, rather than him saying it himself, it would have been reported as being outrageous and horribly racist. Because it is.

    And obviously, he should have told his therapist, not a journalist.
  • Tyresome
    Tyresome Posts: 113
    His comments were in answer to a question about how he gets into character for a particular role, not ( directly ) about his friend being raped. It’s all been blown out of proportion, by a sensationalist media, looking for revenue, and not thinking about the damage they’re probably going to end up doing ( as per usual).
  • Tyresome wrote:
    His comments were in answer to a question about how he gets into character for a particular role, not ( directly ) about his friend being raped. It’s all been blown out of proportion, by a sensationalist media, looking for revenue, and not thinking about the damage they’re probably going to end up doing ( as per usual).

    That's what is so weird about it.
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    not twitter rection blew it all out of propertion. the papaers barley have influence on this kind of thing any more.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • not twitter rection blew it all out of propertion. the papaers barley have influence on this kind of thing any more.

    The Daily Mail website dominates the online press in the UK.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,088
    It always surprises me how certain some people are of how they would react following the sort of experience most of us have never experienced and hopefully never will. I would have thought a lot of people would be full of pent up rage and a feeling of impotence leaving them to want to hit out no matter how irrationaly. Everyone seems to be assuming he wouldn't have reacted in a similar way if the answer had been that the attacker was white.

    That said, I do think he was foolish to raise the issue as he must have known the reaction it would get. He could have made the point by saying he went out with a weapon looking for revenge without mentioning colour.
  • Pross wrote:
    It always surprises me how certain some people are of how they would react following the sort of experience most of us have never experienced and hopefully never will. I would have thought a lot of people would be full of pent up rage and a feeling of impotence leaving them to want to hit out no matter how irrationaly. Everyone seems to be assuming he wouldn't have reacted in a similar way if the answer had been that the attacker was white.

    That said, I do think he was foolish to raise the issue as he must have known the reaction it would get. He could have made the point by saying he went out with a weapon looking for revenge without mentioning colour.

    Because it would make no sense to go out and randomly attack a white guy unless he saw all white guys as being culpable and as he is one he could have stayed at home and beat himself senseless

    The fact that he saw attacking any member of an ethnic group as revenge tells you what he thinks about that ethnic group
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,088
    Pross wrote:
    It always surprises me how certain some people are of how they would react following the sort of experience most of us have never experienced and hopefully never will. I would have thought a lot of people would be full of pent up rage and a feeling of impotence leaving them to want to hit out no matter how irrationaly. Everyone seems to be assuming he wouldn't have reacted in a similar way if the answer had been that the attacker was white.

    That said, I do think he was foolish to raise the issue as he must have known the reaction it would get. He could have made the point by saying he went out with a weapon looking for revenge without mentioning colour.

    Because it would make no sense to go out and randomly attack a white guy unless he saw all white guys as being culpable and as he is one he could have stayed at home and beat himself senseless

    The fact that he saw attacking any member of an ethnic group as revenge tells you what he thinks about that ethnic group

    You're applying logic to someone who probably wasn't thinking logically. Had the attacker been white he may have asked for more descriptors but the point is his friend had been attacked and he probably wasn't thinking straight. As I said, none of us know how we would have reacted and hopefully will never find ourselves in a similar position.
  • To say be didn't act on it is technically wrong. He acted by found out with a weapon. I believe this counts as taking action even if it didn't result in actual violence.

    Of course I wonder whether this is just bluster on his part. Trying to make out he's partly like his film characters. I really do wonder if what he said really happened like he said it did. They don't call Hollywood LaLaLand for nothing!
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    Everyone has dark thoughts. he did not act on them i.e actually hurt someone. He may never had even if at the time he hoped he would.

    If people get crucified for feeling and admitting how they felt then our world is messed up beyond redemption. Its what we do that counts and how we control ourselves. he did control himself. Hes is obviously not perfect show me someone who is. those that have expressed outrage are the ones to worry about.

    The world is full of rascist people. He found that in himself and has acknowleged it. Many dont, they are the ones to worry about.

    People sadly assume that someones views cannot change. they dont change instantly but can change over time. If we do hold the view that people cannot change we might as well all get together throw a big party and set of all our nukes and get it over with, because obviously we cant change.

    Everyone bluntly is a little bit racist or harbours some predujice. That called being human. Most people fail to see it in themsleves, those are the people to worry about.

    Revenge is a common thing. Some nations practice it as policy on a daily basis. We dont worry about them do we and still sell them weapons but we have a social media storm over someone who did not actually hurt someone, he just wished he had but later regreted having those thoughts and feelings.

    I am outraged at the outrage. Where does it end. I am in favour of turning of the internet for good. Where are those russian hackers when you need them.

    Good response and about the only sensible one I have read yet.


    I am not sure this incident really indicates racism. He would have "gone out" looking for someone of whatever race his friend had said. He didn't assume it was someone from a particular race, he asked the race/description, she said "black person". It's quite an extreme response, and certainly not one I would condone but many people are passing judgement without empathy of the situation he was in or the environment he grew up in.
  • apreading
    apreading Posts: 4,535
    Playing devils advocate, what if someone had a close friend or relative hurt badly by a cyclist crashing into them while running a red light on a crossing. Then they lumped all us cyclists together and felt the need to lash out at us and swerved a cyclist off the road in a fit of rage, or went out looking for cyclist red light jumpers to have a go at.

    Is this really so different, other than the sensitivities that historically come with race questions?

    If someone had their elderly parents conned out of their wealth & home by a greedy posh banker and they went to some pubs where bankers drink hoping one of them would get into a fight with them.

    Is this really so different, other than the sensitivities that historically come with race questions?

    Its not just race - that is simply one of several social stereotypes that people can put together in a time of rage when they are not thinking rationally.

    Whether he was predisposed against black people beforehand or just seized on that social group based on the limited description he had, we will likely never know.

    Key to this for me is that he admits it was wrong and that he is ashamed of it, which suggests he has atoned and adjusted his attitude once he started thinking clearly and reflecting.

    Whether he really has changed, again we will never know. But its obviously something which has stuck with him and that he reflects on.

    Was it wrong, yes. He says as much himself so there is no doubt about that. Should we forgive him and move on? I have no idea.

    Why on Earth he outed it in public I have no idea...
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,761
    To say be didn't act on it is technically wrong. He acted by found out with a weapon. I believe this counts as taking action even if it didn't result in actual violence.

    Of course I wonder whether this is just bluster on his part. Trying to make out he's partly like his film characters. I really do wonder if what he said really happened like he said it did. They don't call Hollywood LaLaLand for nothing!


    Yes more than possible. I mean given a week I think I could find somewhere in most cities where if I hung about in the right places (or wrong places depending on your point of view) I could pretty much guarantee someone black (or any other colour if you chose) would start some kind of argument. Maybe he armed himself and then spent the week at Ramsgate Conservative club or something.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • chris_bass
    chris_bass Posts: 4,913
    i think the argument that he wasn't thinking rationally falls apart by the fact he walked around for a whole week looking for someone to kill. That isn't a heat of the moment action, if he'd gone out straight away and then that was it maybe but not for a whole week.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes