By Daniel J. McLaughlin
Liam Neeson is facing a major racism storm after making controversial comments in an interview.
The actor, who was promoting his new film 'Cold Pursuit', admitted to the Independent that he considered killing a “black b-----d” after his friend was raped.
He said that he was "ashamed" of his "awful" past behaviour, calling it "horrible, horrible".
Piers Morgan has compared Neeson to the KKK, slamming him for the "purest personification of racism", the Daily Mail reports.
The Good Morning Britain host said that the actor's comments are "as offensive as it gets". He added that Neeson cannot blame stupidity or ignorance, because Neeson is "deliberately putting it out there".
Piers said: "If I was a black man, I would just find that unspeakable. Just the purest personification of racism, right there.
"Because a black person might have done a bad thing to my friend, I'm going to kill any black person I can find. That is racism! That is Ku Klux Klan stuff, sorry it is!"
The 66-year-old actor was defended by John Barnes in an interview on Sky News on Tuesday.
The Liverpool football legend said that the story had been "spun", claiming it had been taken out of context.
He said he had listened to the whole transcript of the interview, and heard Neeson saying that revenge doesn't do anyone any good.
Barnes said: "And if you listen to everything he is talking about, he's talking about in the moment - and you can't blame Liam Neeson for thinking what he feels because this is what - and this is a while ago - society has shown him black people do, Muslims do."
He added that Neeson "deserves a medal" for his honesty, saying that "as much as people are now jumping on this bandwagon of how terrible it is, what he has done is come out and he's told the truth".
What did Liam Neeson say?
During an interview with the Independent, Liam Neeson recalled being told about the rape of a friend after he returned from a trip overseas.
The actor said: "She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way. But my immediate reaction was: did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person."
He admitted that headed onto the streets with a cosh, looking for a black man to murder after finding out.
Neeson said: "I’m ashamed to say that, and I did it for maybe a week – hoping some [Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers] ‘black b-----d’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.
"It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that. And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid."
He added: "It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f--k are you doing’, you know?'"