Ricky Gervais has opened up about his friend Liam Neeson’s racism controversy in his new stand-up special.
In 2019, Neeson narrated Infamous The Independent about how, after his boyfriend was raped, he dated a cosh to “kill” a “Black B*******”.
The recording caused a huge scandal and led to the cancellation of Neeson’s New York film premiere for cold pursuit.
After the story broke, Neeson apologized while denying he was racist. Earlier this month he appeared on an episode of Donald Glover Atlanta, in which he unpacked the scandal and apologized again.
The new special from Gervais super nature (with whom he toured in 2019) has since been released on Netflix. In it, the comedian discusses the interview and how Neeson was “almost canceled” for his comments.
“Well, I don’t know why he told that story, but he told a journalist at a press party,” Gervais said before recalling Neeson’s anecdote.
“[He said], ‘So I got my money and went looking for the first black guy.’ He said: ‘Nothing happened, I’ve come to my senses.’ But the weird thing about this story is… who has a cosh?”
Gervais said it’s “touch and go” if Neeson gets “canceled” for his comments, explaining, “They canceled the premiere that night because of the backlash people wanted the film deleted. And I understand – some people can’t separate the art form from the private life of the artist.
“Now I know Liam, I’ve worked with him, he’s a lovely man. He’s definitely not racist, but when that broke even I was like, ‘Will I ever be able to find Schindlers List funny again?’”
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Gervais was referring to the Oscar-winning 1993 historical drama, in which Neeson starred as Oskar Schindler – a member of the Nazi Party who is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews by employing them in his factories in occupied Poland .
Gervais’ latest special has been met with backlash over a series of jokes about transgender people.
The LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD described Gervais’ comments as “dangerous anti-transants disguised as jokes”.
However, the comedian defended his “taboo material” in a new TV interview, saying: “What is most scandalous is when people confuse the subject of a joke with the actual goal. So it starts, they say, ‘What’s he going to say?’ I tell the joke. phew They laugh.
“These are just jokes. They mean nothing. You’re just laughing for an hour or so.”
You can read The Independent‘s two-star rating from super nature here.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/ricky-gervais-liam-neeson-racist-supernature-b2086984.html Ricky Gervais opens up about the ‘love man’ Liam Neeson racism controversy during Netflix special SuperNature