Liam Neeson
photo: Getty Images

Odds are you've heard the name Liam Neeson quite a bit this week. That's because in the middle of his press tour for his upcoming action film, Cold Pursuit, the actor decided to reveal some pretty unnerving and racist behavior from his past. 

On Monday, Neeson told the British publication The Independent that years ago, one of his friends said she had been raped. His response? Asking about the assailant's skin color. The woman apparently told him that her rapist was black, which compelled Neeson to literally wander the streets with a "cosh" (British slang for a heavy stick or bar) looking to get into a fight and kill any "black bastard" who would have the misfortune of approaching Neeson in the first place. 

The whole interview was definitely a lot to process, and many people called him out for engaging in racist behavior that could have ended in devastating violence. And the whole situation only got worse when Neeson made an apology tour stop on Good Morning America a day later.

In case you've been wondering what Liam Neeson has been up to lately, here's a hint: nothing good.

On Monday, he told The Independent about a troubling and racist incident from his past. And it's been one hell of a roller coaster ride ever since.

It all started when he recounted the time a friend confided in him that she had been raped by a black man. Neeson then went out looking to start trouble.

According to The Independent, Neeson's reaction went something like this: "I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I'd be approached by somebody — I'm ashamed to say that — and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him."

“It took me a week, maybe a week and a half, to go through that," Neeson revealed. 

Liam Neeson with microphone
photo: Getty Images

He continued to explain that his friend would ask him what he was doing. "She would say, 'Where are you going?' and I would say, 'I'm just going out for a walk.' You know? 'What's wrong?' 'No, no, nothing's wrong.'" 

In the same interview, he recognizes how "horrible" his actions were at the time.

Liam Neeson
photo: Getty Images

"It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that," he said. "And I've never admitted that, and I'm saying it to a journalist. God forbid." 

But his troubling disclosure sent shockwaves across the internet. 

This person pointed out that Neeson's admission is "literally the logic" that has been used to justify hate crimes against black people throughout history. It isn't something to take lightly.

Some wondered whether the actor would face any real repercussions for his racist behavior.

Generally speaking, people aren't feeling too optimistic that that will, in fact, happen. Hollywood tends to have a short memory when it comes to these things, especially when the acts are perpetrated by white men.

This whole situation is problematic in more than one way.

In the face of trauma, there's often a disconnect between how men and women cope. Revenge, as this person points out, is really not the answer.

And just when you thought Neeson couldn't dig a deeper grave, he went ahead and did just that.

On Tuesday, he appeared on Good Morning America to, supposedly, do some damage control. But it didn't quite turn out that way.

In his GMA appearance, he said that he's "not a racist" and that he did "seek help."

He also argued that he would have sought to commit the crime "if she had said an Irish, or a Scot, or a Brit, or a Lithuanian" had been her rapist. That may be true, but it doesn't take away from the severity of his original admission.

Unsurprisingly, people were unimpressed with Neeson's inability to recognize his own racism.

He probably didn't do himself any favors by saying that he sought help by confessing his racist thoughts to a priest and taking up power walking. You mean to say that's all you did to make it better? C'mon, man.

Overall, the GMA interview was filled with lots of horrifyingly cringeworthy moments.

They just kept coming and didn't stop. Someone get this guy a new publicist and maybe also a one-way ticket to Mars so he can do some actual self-reflection.

Some felt that the morning show provided Neeson with a platform to spew more racist nonsense.

This person suggested that many Americans were, in fact, relating to Neeson because they've had similar thoughts about black people. And those thoughts should never be legitimized.

An eye for an eye really does leave the whole world blind. 

Neeson said that if he had gotten into an altercation, that person could've killed him too. But that suggestion is really missing the point.

And then this happened.

It's probably for the best. Neeson should stay away from journalists until he's able to recognize his own racism.