Whoopi Goldberg speaks out in defence of Liam Neeson over racism row

Whoopi Goldberg speaks out in defence of Liam Neeson over racism row

Earlier this week, Liam Neeson made headlines when he admitted in an interview that he had once prowled the streets looking for a "black b*****d" to kill after learning that his friend had been raped by a black man. The confession caused outrage, with many people taking to social media in order to either support or condemn the Taken actor.

Some insisted that the actor was "brave" for admitting to his former anger towards black people, while others argued that such quick forgiveness for prejudice against people of colour is why racism is still so prevalent today.

attends the Netflix's 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs' NYFF Red Carpet Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on October 4, 2018 in New York City. Credit: Getty

In the latest development of the controversy, Whoopi Goldberg has come out to defend Neeson, saying that he is "not a bigot" and was just "angry" about what happened to his friend.

Speaking on The View, the Sister Act star said: "People walk around sometimes with rage, that’s what happens. Is he a bigot? No."

She continued: "I've known him a pretty long time, I think I would have recognised, I've been around a lot of real bigots. I can say this man is not one. You can't be surprised that somebody whose loved one is attacked is angry and wants to go out and attack. What he did go on to say ... is that he realised that it was too dark for him, he went and got himself help."

Indeed, many others have defended the star on social media, with many arguing that it was better for him to say something and admit his guilt than to pretend that nothing ever happened.

Still, there were some who felt that Neeson's almost blase attitude about potentially murdering someone for their skin colour was enabling racism to be normalised, and that he did not deserve such quick forgiveness.

Speaking of his feelings, Neeson had said that "I had never felt this feeling before, which was a primal urge to lash out. [My friend, who was raped] said [her attacker] was a black man. After that, there were some nights I went out deliberately into black areas in the city looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence, and I did it for four or five times until I caught myself on. It shocked me, this primal urge I had. It shocked me. It hurt me."

Neeson has yet to offer any further comments on the matter, but is now facing more backlash from people who think that he should not be allowed to star in the upcoming Men in Black reboot. There is already speculation that he will be stood down from the publicity tour for the movie, but that has yet to be confirmed.