Liam Neeson’s Red Carpet for ‘Cold Pursuit’ Premiere Canceled After Revenge Comments

Actor apologized on “Good Morning America” Tuesday morning

Last Updated: February 6, 2019 @ 12:49 PM

Lionsgate has canceled the red carpet for Liam Neeson’s new film “Cold Pursuit” ahead of its New York premiere.

The premiere itself will still take place Tuesday, but the red carpet cancellation comes after an interview on Monday in which Neeson said that many years back, he prowled the streets with a weapon hoping to come across a “black bastard” and seek revenge for his friend who had been raped. An individual familiar with the matter said that the red carpet wouldn’t be appropriate under the circumstances.

Lionsgate had no comment. A rep for Neeson did not immediately respond for comment.

Neeson appeared on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday to apologize and clarified some of his comments in an interview with Robin Roberts, saying that he’s “not racist.”

“I went out deliberately into black areas in this city looking to be set upon so I could unleash physical violence. And I did it for maybe four or five times until I caught myself on, and it really shocked me, this primal urge I had. It shocked me and it hurt me. I did seek help,” Neeson said. “I’m not racist. This was nearly 40 years ago.”

The actor was asked about the film’s themes of revenge during a junket interview when he revealed that he had a “primal urge” to seek revenge. He attributed his behavior in part to the tumultuous time during his upbringing in Northern Ireland in which Protestants and Catholics were at war.

“It’s awful, but I did learn a lesson from it. When I eventually thought, ‘what the f– are you doing?,'” Neeson told The Independent. “I understand that need for revenge. But it just leads to more revenge and more killing, and more killing.”

Lionsgate’s “Cold Pursuit” opens Friday on over 2,500 screens. The action-thriller is a remake of a Norwegian film titled “In Order of Disappearance.”