Skip To Content

    Liam Neeson Guest-Starred On “Atlanta” And Joked About White People Not Needing To Learn Lessons For Past Racist Remarks

    "I apologize if I hurt people."

    Donald Glover is no stranger to using real-life experiences and pop culture moments to inspire his art, whether it's in his music videos or TV projects.

    And that's just what's been happening in his FX series, Atlanta. The latest episode drew from the headlines, featuring Liam Neeson apologizing for his past racist remarks...kind of.

    For those who don't know, during a February 2019 interview to promote his film Cold Pursuit, Liam told the Independent that there was a time in his life when he walked around looking for a "Black bastard" to kill as a way to avenge his friend who was allegedly raped by a "Black person."

    Liam addresses those comments in Atlanta. In Season 3, Episode 8, "New Jazz," Brian Tyree Henry's character (Al/Paper Boi) is in Amsterdam with his friends. He decides to take magic mushrooms (hallucinogens) and explore the city.

    Paper Boy in a run-down room dimly lit by a red light

    He finds himself inside a lounge ironically called the Cancel Club. And he runs into none other than Mr. Taken himself, Liam Neeson.

    Paper Boy having a conversation at the bar with Liam Neeson

    After chatting with Al for a little bit, Liam explained why he's in the Cancel Club — AKA the reason society canceled him. "You might've heard or read about my transgression...you know, what I said about what I wanted to do to a Black guy. Any Black guy."

    A napkin on the bar with a logo saying Cancel Club

    "A friend of mine had been raped, and I acted out of anger. I look back, man, it honestly frightens me."

    Liam and Paper Boy chatting at the bar

    "I thought people, knowing who I once was, would make clear who I am, who I've become. But, with all that being said, I am sorry. I apologize if I hurt people."

    Al decided to lighten the mood by making a joke about him still liking the Taken franchise, despite Liam's comments, adding, "It's good to know that you don't hate Black people now."

    Liam shot back a surprising response, admitting, "No, no, no, I can't stand the lot of you. Well, now I feel that way, because you tried to ruin my career. Didn't succeed, mind you."

    "However, I'm sure one day I'll get over it. But until then — we are mortal enemies. I'll see you around big lad," Liam concludes as he laughs.

    Still confused by Liam's confession, Al asked if Liam learned not to say things like that, to which Liam confirmed that he did.

    "But," Liam added. "I also learned that the best and worst part about being white is you don't have to learn anything if you don't want to."

    Al was left visibly stunned as he tried to digest what he just heard, while Liam made his exit.

    Despite the scene's satirical ending, Liam's actual apology went a little differently. But that only came after his remarks during a Good Morning America interview with Robin Roberts seemingly added fuel to the cancel culture fire.

    Liam and Robin on the set of Good Morning America

    In late March 2019, Liam issued an official apology. "In trying to explain those feelings today, I missed the point and hurt many people at a time when language is so often weaponized and an entire community of innocent people are targeted in acts of rage."

    You can read Liam's full apology here. And be sure to check out Atlanta on Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST on FX.