06/02/2019 08:48 GMT

Premiere Of Liam Neeson's New Film Cold Pursuit Abruptly Cancelled After Independent Interview Controversy

Journalists were informed Tuesday evening's red carpet event would not be going ahead.

The premiere of Liam Neeson’s new film Cold Pursuit was cancelled with just hours to go, following his admission he once had thoughts about killing a black person

The actor sparked outrage in an interview published earlier this week, in which he described actively walking the streets with a cosh, hoping to attack a black person as an act of revenge, after his friend was raped many years ago.

Lorenzo Bevilaqua via Getty Images
Liam Neeson

After Liam made an appearance on US morning TV to attempt to explain the comments, organisers of the New York premiere of his film informed attendees that it would not be going ahead on Tuesday evening. 

However, a screening of the film for review purposes is set to go ahead as planned. 

During his appearance on Good Morning America, Liam insisted he is “not a racist”.

He told host Robin Roberts he discussed his violent thoughts about killing a black person nearly 40 years ago as talk about such things is needed because bigotry and racism still exist.

Liam said he had a “primal urge to lash out” after learning of his friend’s attack, and had been shocked by his reaction, later seeking help from a priest and friends.

Liam initially sparked controversy when he told The Independent: “My immediate reaction [to his friend’s rape] was… I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.

“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’ [two words which the newspaper refers to him as using air quotes as he said] would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could... kill him.”

Reflecting on his behaviour, Liam acknowledged that he had acted in a “horrible, horrible” way, adding: “It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the fuck are you doing’, you know? I understand that need for revenge, but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing.”