Update, 10 February 2019: Michelle Rodriguez has apologised for defending Widows co-star Liam Neeson after his confession he actively searched for a Black man to attack following a friend's alleged rape.
Rodriguez posted her apology on Instagram. "To my friends and colleagues and my fans and community: I want to deeply apologize for my recent choice of words, and poor use of example," she wrote. "In a pressure-filled situation, I defended a friend in the wrong way. I now realize how insensitive it was, and I had no intention of invoking such a terrible historical comparison. I have learned from this, and will grow from it. One Love, MRod."
This story was originally published on 7 February 2019.
Liam Neeson's startling admission that he once went in search of a Black man to attack after finding out his friend had allegedly been raped has elicited ire from all corners of the public, resulting in the cancellation of the red carpet for his upcoming film Cold Pursuit. Neeson addressed the criticism levied against him on Good Morning America, saying he's not racist and that he used tools such as talking to a priest and "power walking" to overcome his racist urge, but some prominent celebrities have also come to his defence.
Michelle Rodriguez, who co-starred with Neeson in Widows, spoke to Vanity Fair at the amfAR Gala in New York on Wednesday, and said the accusations of racism against the actor were "fuckin' bullshit."
"Liam Neeson is not a racist,” she insisted. “Dude, have you watched Widows? His tongue was so far down Viola Davis’s throat. You can’t call him a racist ever. Racists don’t make out with the race that they hate, especially in the way he does with his tongue—so deep down her throat. I don’t care how good of an actor you are. It’s all bullshit. Ignore it. He’s not a racist. He’s a loving man. It’s all lies.” It is unclear if VF reminded her that at the end of Widows, (spoiler) Davis' character kills Neeson's because he is a lying adulterer scam artist.
Rodriguez's comments came after Whoopi Goldberg also spoke out in support of Neeson on The View on Wednesday.
"People walk around sometimes with rage, that's what happens. Is he a bigot? No. I've known him a pretty long time, I think I would have recognised. I've been around a lot of real bigots. I can say this man is not one," she said. "You can't be surprised that somebody whose loved one is attacked is angry and wants to go out and attack. What he did go on to say...is that he realised that it was too dark for him, he went and got himself help."
Neeson has not spoken publicly since his Good Morning America interview. Cold Pursuit hits theatres Friday, February 8.