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Liam Neeson is no racist, says pal Ricky Gervais

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Actor Liam Neeson

Actor Liam Neeson

Ricky Gervais: Supernature

Ricky Gervais: Supernature

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Actor Liam Neeson

Ricky Gervais has defended Liam Neeson over his infamous racism row.

Neeson (69) found himself in hot water in 2019 after he said he had stalked the streets with a cosh looking to kill “a black b*****d” after his friend was raped by a black man.

Gervais said: “Liam Neeson nearly got cancelled didn’t he? Now, I don’t know why he told this story, but he did, at a Press junket, to a journalist, right?”

Impersonating the actor’s gravelly voice, he added: “He [Neeson] started saying, ‘It was 30 years ago. My friend came home and she’d been raped. She said it was a black guy, so I got my cosh and I went looking for the nearest black guy. Nothing happened, I came to my senses’.

“The weird thing about that story is, who has a cosh?”

Liam made the admission in an interview with the Independent while promoting his film Cold Pursuit, in which he played a father who goes to war with a drugs cartel for killing his son.

The premiere of the film was cancelled hours before it was due to happen after a backlash.

However, Gervais described the actor as a “lovely man”.

“It was touch and go [if he would be cancelled]. They cancelled the premiere because of the backlash,” he said.

“People wanted the film deleted, and I get it. Some people can’t separate the art form from the artist performing the art in real life.

“I know Liam. I’ve worked with him and he’s a lovely man, definitely not racist.”

Neeson apologised for the widely condemned remarks.

Gervais made the comments about the controversy in his new stand-up show Netflix special SuperNature.

LGBT campaigners denounced it as transphobic and “dangerous”, but Gervais said his comedy was ironic and denied he was anti-trans.


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