Liam Neeson's Premiere of 'Cold Pursuit' Cancelled Amid Racism Controvery

Liam Neeson's Premiere of 'Cold Pursuit' Cancelled Amid Racism Controvery
Despite going on damage control this morning, the premiere of Liam Neeson's new film Cold Pursuit has suddenly been cancelled.

The abrupt decision was made this afternoon amidst the growing backlash surrounding the actor's comments about the decades-old thoughts he had about killing a black person.

As the Associated Press reports, organizers of the New York premiere of Cold Pursuit informed reporters of the cancellation Tuesday afternoon — only a few hours before the film was supposed to start.

As previously reported, Neeson started a PR nightmare for himself and the film through the admission of wanting to commit a racist murder in reaction to the rape of someone close to him.

In an interview with the Independent published yesterday (February 4), Neeson recalled learning that someone close to him had been allegedly raped by a black man, leading him to go "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."

This morning, the actor took to morning television in the U.S. to try to quell the rising backlash.

"I'm not racist. This was nearly 40 years ago," he said on Good Morning America

When asked if the actor would have reacted similarly had the alleged rapist not been a black man, Neeson responded, "Oh, definitely. If she had said an Irish, or a Scot, or a Brit, or a Lithuanian, I know I would have had the same effect. I was trying to… show honour to my, stand up for my dear friend in this terrible, medieval fashion. And I'm a fairly intelligent guy, that's why it kind of shocked me when I came down to earth after having these horrible feelings. Luckily no violence occurred, ever. Thanks be to God."

Cold Pursuit is still set to begin its theatrical run starting Friday (February 8).