Filmmaker Spike Lee criticises Liam Neeson over rape revenge remarks

Filmmaker Spike Lee criticises Liam Neeson over rape revenge remarks

Filmmaker Spike Lee has criticised Liam Neeson over his controversial rape revenge remarks.

The Malcolm X director spoke out ahead of the Baftas, where his film BlacKkKlansman is up for several awards, including best film.

Neeson sparked outrage by saying he once had violent thoughts about killing a black person.

Liam Neeson’s comments have been criticised by Spike Lee (Laura Hutton/PA)
Liam Neeson’s comments have been criticised by Spike Lee (Laura Hutton/PA)

Asked if he was angry about his remarks, Lee told The Andrew Marr Show: “Oh yeah, I don’t understand what he was doing. It’s a crazy, crazy bizarre world we live in.

“I’ve not spoken to Liam. I don’t know why he did it but he did it so he’s going through it now.

“I just saw the clip, one of the clips on his apology tour, and he did not look happy.”

Asked if he would cast Neeson following his remarks, the Do The Right Thing director said: “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.

“It’s bad all around…

Director Spike Lee speaking to TV host Andrew Marr (Jeff Overs)
Director Spike Lee speaking to TV host Andrew Marr (Jeff Overs)

“I heard he was promoting his new movie about revenge. I know he is Catholic. Was this a form of confession? I don’t know you’d have to ask him.”

The filmmaker told the BBC 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.

Lee said of Sunday’s Baftas, where the film is up for five awards: “This is the first time I’ve been nominated. I’ve never been nominated before, ever.”

Neeson recently cancelled an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert amid controversy over his comments.

The actor, 66, was due to appear on the US chat show as he promoted his latest film Cold Pursuit.

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 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.

- Press Association

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