The red carpet premiere for Liam Neeson’s new movie, Cold Pursuit, didn’t go as planned.
Just one day after the actor told U.K. paper The Independent he walked the streets hoping to kill a “black bastard” after a close friend said she was raped by a black man, the film’s scheduled red carpet press line was canceled Tuesday.
The Lionsgate-produced action thriller premiered at New York City’s AMC Loews Lincoln Square Tuesday night as intended, but a source familiar with the situation told The Hollywood Reporter a red carpet event wouldn’t have been “appropriate under the circumstances.”
This development comes as another blow to Neeson, who has faced widespread backlash since his comments were made public Monday.
The 66-year-old actor has tried to rehabilitate his image in the wake of the controversy, as evidenced by his Tuesday appearance on Good Morning America.
Speaking with GMA host Robin Roberts, he said his desire for revenge unnerved him.
“I went out deliberately into black areas in the city, looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence. I did it maybe four or five times,” he told Roberts. “It shocked me and it hurt me.”
Neeson said he eventually sought help to address his violent thoughts, adding: “I went to a priest, I had my confession. I was reared Catholic. Believe it or not, power walking, two hours every day to get rid of this.”
He insisted, “I’m not racist,” adding, “This was nearly 40 years ago.”
The actor’s new movie, Cold Pursuit, opens Friday.