UPDATE:  3:00 PM PT – Liam Neeson‘s MEA CULPA on GMA falls on deaf ears after actor fails to give a heartfelt apology on the morning show.  His red carpet event for COLD PURSUIT  has been cancelled mere hours after his GMA appearance and just before the event was to take place.  The screening of the film will go as planned but Neeson will not be facing the media.

Taken actor Liam Neeson attempts to explain his racist remarks about wanting to kill a ‘black’ man after he found out a close personal friend of his had been brutally raped to Robin Roberts on Good Morning America.

The Irish-born actor revealed that the event took place nearly 40-years-ago and that by no means he is a racist, but a primal fear had taken over him and he felt that he had to revenge the rape of his friend.

He praised his friend for handling the rape as best as she could, but claims he got immediately enraged and wanted to kill any ‘black bastard’ who would dare give him any grief.

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Neeson revealed in the now infamous interview with The Independent and republished by the NYT  – “She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way, but my immediate reaction was, did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person.”

“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody,” the Northern Ireland-born Mr Neeson said, “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.”

As soon as the interview was made public by The Independent, Liam Neeson received major backlash, even being compared to the Ku Klux Klan by Pierce Morgan and others saying he shouldn’t be allowed to act anymore and should be stripped of any awards.

However, Liam Neeson has come to his own defence on GMA, admitting that his thoughts even scared him and he sought help after coming to his senses.

“I did seek help, I went to a priest, I had my confession, I talked to close friends, and believe it or not power walking for 2 hours every day.  This was nearly 40 years ago and it really shocked me, this primal urge”.

When asked if he understood how offensive it was that he wanted to kill a random black man, he insisted he did, and that he was just trying to help a dear friend – ‘I’m not racist, this was 40 years ago. I had a primal urge. I was trying to show honor for a friend I dearly loved, in a medieval fashion’.

Liam Neeson is currently promoting his latest film project ‘Cold Pursuit‘ due out February 7.