‘I know he’s Catholic – was this a form of confession?’: Spike Lee speaks out after Liam Neeson racism row
‘I don’t understand what he was doing. It’s a crazy, crazy bizarre world that we live in'
The actor faced a massive backlash after telling The Independent that he once roamed the streets with a cosh, wanting to kill a “black bastard” after someone close to him was raped years ago.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, the Oscar-nominated director said: “I don’t understand what he was doing. It’s a crazy, crazy bizarre world that we live in.”
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“I don’t know why he did it, but he did it, so he’s going through it now,” Lee continued. He said that he’d only recently seen a clip of the actor’s Good Morning America interview, adding that “he did not look happy”.
The director revealed that he had wanted to cast Neeson in a film that hasn’t yet received the necessary funding, but that the actor would probably now be too old for the role.
“I tried to cast him one time. And so far, we haven’t got the money for that film but one day we will.
“But I don’t think I’ll be going back to him. He’s too old now. That was a long time ago.”
He added, “I don’t know, but I heard he was promoting this new movie that’s about revenge.
“I know he’s Catholic – was this a form of confession? I don’t know, you’d have to ask him.”
The filmmaker told the BBC’s The One Show: “People have to understand history. The Ku Klux Klan was formed to ‘save’ white, Southern womanhood.
“Who knows how many innocent black men have been murdered, castrated, lynched or harmed or spent time in jail only because a white woman said: ‘That black man raped her?’”
BlacKkKlansman, which has been nominated for six Oscars, tells the story of an undercover black police officer who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan.
Neeson attracted widespread criticism for comments regarding decades-old thoughts he had about killing a black person.
Speaking to The Independent during a discussion about revenge, a theme in his new film Cold Pursuit, he said he roamed the streets looking for a “black bastard” after someone close to him was raped.
Fans on Twitter have called for a boycott of his films as a result of the comments, though some, including former footballer John Barnes and author John Banville, have defended him.