Michelle Rodriguez Wades Into Neeson Fray, Is Quickly Sorry

His 'Widows' co-star admits she made a 'terrible historical comparison' while defending him
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2019 7:26 AM CST
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Actress Michelle Rodriguez attends the amfAR Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on Wednesday in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Type "Liam Neeson, apologize" into Google and an entirely different name pops up this week. That's because Michelle Rodriguez now has her own "sorry" to offer after defending him for racist comments he'd made. First Neeson confessed during an interview that he'd once looked for a random black man to attack after a friend of his had been raped; a follow-up GMA interview didn't clear things up for many. That's when Rodriguez, who worked with Neeson on the film Widows, stepped up, speaking Wednesday while at a NYC gala. "Dude, have you watched Widows?" Rodriguez asked an interviewer from Vanity Fair. "His tongue was so far down [co-star] Viola Davis's throat. ... Racists don't make out with the race that they hate, especially in the way he does with his tongue—so deep down her throat. I don't care how good of an actor you are. ... He's not a racist. He's a loving man. It's all lies."

NBC News notes her comments, like Neeson's, didn't go over well, not only with the general public, but also with high-profile critics like TV producer Shonda Rhimes, who said Rodriguez's "lack of historical context, bias blindness and willful ignorance required to open one's mouth and say this about racism is mind boggling." One fact presented to Rodriguez was that slave owners routinely raped their slaves. On Saturday, Rodriguez readdressed the matter, and a mea culpa was included. "I want to deeply apologize for my recent choice of words, and poor use of example," she wrote on Instagram. "In a pressure-filled situation, I defended a friend in the wrong way." She added she realized her insensitivity, that she'd thrown out a "terrible historical comparison," and that she'd "learned from this, and will grow from it." Meanwhile, Mashable reports on a new Neeson defender, "to a point": Trevor Noah. (Read more Michelle Rodriguez stories.)

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