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Liam Neeson’s Atlanta cameo references his racism controversy: ‘You might have heard about my transgression’

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Liam Neeson tackles his racism controversy head-on in a cameo appearance in the latest episode of Atlanta.

While promoting the revenge movie Cold Pursuit in 2019, Neeson admitted to The Independent that he once walked the streets with a cosh for days, looking to kill a “Black bastard” after someone close to him was raped many years ago. He said that he felt “ashamed” of his past “awful” behaviour.

The fallout from Neeson’s comments led to the cancellation of the ​premiere of Cold Pursuit. His remarks were condemned as “disgusting” by many and the actor was accused of racism.

In the latest episode of Donald Glover’s comedy Atlanta, titled “New Jazz”, Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles (Brian Tyree Henry) has a series of hallucinatory encounters after eating “Nepalese space cakes” during a visit to Amsterdam.

At one point, he meets Neeson (playing himself) at a bar called “Cancel Club”. In the scene, Neeson tells him that “you may have heard about my transgression”, before emphasising that his comments in The Independent’s interview came from a place of shame and apologising if his remarks “hurt people”.

Miles says: “It’s good to know that you don’t hate Black people now.” Neeson then responds: “No, no, no, I can’t stand the lot of ya… I feel that way because you tried to ruin my career. Didn’t succeed, mind you. However, I’m sure one day I will get over it, but until then, we are mortal enemies.”

Miles then suggests that the actor hasn’t learned his lesson, if he’s still saying things like that, to which Neeson replies: “Aye. I also learned the best and worst part about being white is you don’t have to learn anything if you don’t want to.”

Many fans reacted to the scene on Twitter, with one person writing: “Liam Neeson on #Atlanta was just balls of steel. Donald Glover understands the assignment. How did Neeson agree to the role. But there in lies the point.”

“Hearing liam neeson and seeing liam neeson in an Atlanta episode is such a jump scare,” added another.

One tweet read: “Atlanta hiring liam neeson while acknowledge his weird comments is...... interesting but also this scene is kinda funny.”

“No way Atlanta got Liam Neeson on the show to explain the racist s*** that happened irl this show too meta,” another viewer posted.

Neeson’s cameo comes after his surprise appearance in Derry Girls, in which he played an exasperated police inspector.

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