Nick Cannon challenged Liam Neeson to a celeb boxing match, after he addressed the actor’s controversial interview, where he admitted that he contemplated carrying out a racist revenge attack after a loved one of his was raped.
Hopefully Liam Neeson, 66, tuned into The Wendy Williams Show on February 5. Nick Cannon, 38, who’s filling in as host while Wendy Williams is on hiatus due to health conditions, challenged the actor to a celebrity boxing match. Cannon called for the fight after he addressed Neeson’s controversial interview, where he [Neeson] admitted that he thought about carrying out a racist revenge attack after someone close to him was raped. Cannon later added that the proceeds from the boxing match would be donated to the NAACP, a civil rights organization, which stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
In the interview, Neeson recalled a story about his loved one’s trauma. “But my immediate reaction was … did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person,” he recounted in an interview with The Independent, which published an audio excerpt. Neeson continued: “I went up and down areas with a cosh [crowbar], hoping I’d be approached by somebody. I’m ashamed to say that, and I did it for maybe a week — hoping some [Neeson gestured air quotes with his fingers, according to the Independent] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”
After major backlash, in which Neeson was branded a “racist” by many, the controversial interview soon became part of the morning show headlines. Cannon addressed Neeson’s remarks on Wendy, on Tuesday, asking the actor, “Who are you calling a black bastard?”
“I’m just going to say this, because we throw this stuff around, and I understand his anger, but there is no reason to want to kill someone based off the color of their skin or race,” Cannon said. “I think he just really thinks he’s the character in ‘Taken’… He was oversharing… this is just ignorance at the end of the day. I think he’s aware of that and that he felt like he had to clean it up…. Liam Neeson, I challenge you to a celebrity boxing match and we’re going to donate all of the money to the NAACP. It’s a clean fight, we’ll put on the gloves and I think it’ll work!”
Neeson addressed the controversy during an appearance on Good Morning America on February 5, before Wendy aired at 10 AM ET. “I’m not racist,” Neeson told GMA‘s Robin Roberts. “This was nearly 40 years ago.” Neeson, who admitted that he grew up around violence, explained the pain he experienced when he discovered his friend had been raped.