Steve McQueen says he was ‘disturbed’ by Liam Neeson’s revenge comments

Steve McQueen says he was ‘disturbed’ by Liam Neeson’s revenge comments

The film-maker Steve McQueen has said he was disturbed by Liam Neeson’s comments about seeking vengeance on a black person after the rape of a friend. The actor, who starred in McQueen’s film Widows last year, said that as a young man, he had wanted to kill a black person after someone close to him…


The film-maker Steve McQueen has said he was disturbed by Liam Neeson’s comments about seeking vengeance on a black person after the rape of a friend.

The actor, who starred in McQueen’s film Widows last year, said that as a young man, he had wanted to kill a black person after someone close to him told him said she had been attacked by a black man.

McQueen told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “My reaction was I was disturbed, I was upset and finally I was just disappointed. You never know what’s in people’s minds. You just never know.”

Neeson said he was compelled by a “primal” and “medieval” desire for revenge.

When asked: “That’s not really primeval [sic] if race is involved, that’s … a learned behaviour and therefore something very uncomfortable indeed?” McQueen replied: “I just find racism very funny and very stupid and very silly. It’s absurd. I don’t even know how to answer that question, if you have to get stupid to answer that question I would rather keep my intelligence.”

To those who defended Neeson, McQueen said: “Can you identify a racist by looking at them? Neither can I.”

Some people have called for a boycott of Neeson’s films as a result of the comments. Others, including former footballer John Barnes and author John Banville, have defended him.

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