Actor Liam Neeson on Friday apologized for controversial remarks which sparked accusations of racism.

Neeson stoked controversy in February when he said that years ago he learned that a friend was raped by a black man. Neeson said that in response he went into black neighborhoods hoping to "unleash physical violence" on any black man.


“Over the last several weeks, I have reflected on and spoken to a variety of people who were hurt by my impulsive recounting of a brutal rape of a dear female friend nearly 40 years ago and my unacceptable thoughts and actions at that time in response to this crime,” he told Variety in a statement.

“The horror of what happened to my friend ignited irrational thoughts that do not represent the person I am. 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," he added.

"I was wrong to do what I did. I recognize that, although the comments I made do not reflect, in any way, my true feelings nor me, they were hurtful and divisive," Neeson said. "I profoundly apologize."

In an interview with The Independent in February, Neeson spoke about how he had sought racially-targeted revenge after the rape of his friend.

“But my immediate reaction was ... I asked, did she know who it was? No. 'What color were they?' She said it was a black person," he said. 

“I went up and down areas with a [nightstick], 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’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him," he added in the interview.

The comments were widely slammed as racist.