Liam Neeson has reportedly cancelled a scheduled appearance on Stephen Colbert’s US talk show after telling The Independent he once roamed the streets with a cosh, wanting to kill a “black bastard” after someone close to him was raped years ago.

The actor was set to appear on The Late Show to promote his new film Cold Pursuit, but The Wrap reports that – following the cancellation of the film’s premiere – he will be replaced by Oscar-nominated actor Glenn Close.

:: Read the original, exclusive interview that started a global conversation

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Neeson has faced a huge backlash following his comments that were published in The Independent on Monday. The following day, he appeared on Good Morning America where he insisted he is not racist. However, many believed he “made [matters] worse” with the appearance.

Speaking about his interview with The Independent, Neeson said: “We were doing a press junket and the topic of our film was revenge. 

"The lady journalist [Clémence Michallon] was asking, ‘How do you tap into that?’ and I remembered an incident nearly 40 years ago when a friend of mine was brutally raped I was out of the country and when I came back she told me about this.

He continued: “I had never felt this feeling before which was a primal urge to lash out.”

In the wake of the backlash, Men in Black fans are calling for Neeson to be removed from the new film, Men in Black: International, ahead of its release in June.

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