Actor Liam Neeson is facing a major racism storm after admitting he once set out to kill an innocent black man.
He said he walked the streets with a weapon for a week years ago, hoping to take out his anger after someone close to him was raped by a black man.
The Hollywood star said he was ashamed of his actions, but his remarks have sparked widespread outrage.
Neeson hasn't commented further since the interview was published by The Independent on Monday.
He was speaking to promote his new film Cold Pursuit, a thriller about a man who seeks retribution after his son is murdered.
Asked how his character turns to anger, the actor replied that "something primal" kicks in when a someone close to you is the victim of violence.
He said: "God forbid you've ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions. I'll tell you a story. This is true."
Neeson said the alleged rape took place a long time ago and he found out about it when he came back from a trip abroad. The actor went on to use racially offensive language about the attacker.
He said: "She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way.
"But my immediate reaction was... I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour 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 - I'm ashamed to say that - and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [uses air quotes with fingers] 'black bastard' would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him."
Neeson has been subject to huge criticism for the comments.
The journalist who did the interview, Clémence Michallon, told BBC News: "Anyone hearing the thoughts that he's reporting here would be shocked and appalled in many ways, and he himself says he is ashamed to think of the way he used to think and says it's awful, so of course that shock set in really quickly."
In an accompanying article in The Independent, columnist Kuba Shand-Baptiste wrote: "What immediately struck me when reading about his revelation was how deeply the white supremacist trope of the 'black brute' versus the 'helpless woman' appears to have permeated society."
Los Angeles Times columnist Carla Hall wrote that his conduct was "despicable", adding that she now wants him to talk about whether he has dealt with "whatever racism he still harbours".
She wrote: "Was he a racist or just a tightly wound man capable of vindictive violence? Or was he both? Of course, he was a racist. He was roaming the streets trying to find a random black man to kill.
"And he gave every indication of being capable of violence. That's a pretty explosive combination. And his revelation about himself is deeply disturbing. The question is, how much has he changed since then?"
On Twitter, Frederick Joseph, who works for better representation in the media, wrote that Neeson's story "just shows how meaningless and inconsequential black lives are to some".
Liam Neeson being ready to take any Black life over what one person allegedly did just shows how meaningless and inconsequential black lives are to some.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) February 4, 2019
Even him telling the story demonstrates a level of privilege and understating that there may not be repercussions.
What’s most disturbing about what Liam Neeson said is everything. But what’s particularly terrifying is the idea that the death of any other Black guy would satisfy the revenge quota to the clear indication is that he knows his whiteness would protect if he followed through on it— Phillip Henry (@MajorPhilebrity) February 4, 2019
Being upset someone attacked your family is understandable, but Targeting innocent black men for a week with a weapon, when you didn't even know WHO did it is racist. Do you know how many innocent black people have lost their lives in the past for stuff like this? THIS IS NOT OK.— TheSafePlace (@ItsTheSafePlace) February 4, 2019
Racism n white privilege is so pervasive, #LiamNeeson felt comfortable enough 2 tell the world the walked around a community in search of a random Black person 2 provoke and kill because he was angry. He prob anticipated this would come w/ no consequences. And he might be right.— Shanita Hubbard (@msshanitarenee) February 4, 2019
Neeson referred back to his comments later in the interview, adding: "It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that. And I've never admitted that, and I'm saying it to a journalist. God forbid.
"It's awful. But I did learn a lesson from it."
Some said Neeson should not be castigated for admitting such thoughts but realising they were wrong and saying he had learned from them.
Liam Neeson had a terrible impulse that he didn't act on, that he knows was terrible, and that he learned from. If we're going to cancel people for being TEMPTED to do wrong, or for struggling with something before coming to the right conclusion ... well, we're going to be busy.— Eric D. Snider (@EricDSnider) February 4, 2019
However, others pointed out that he didn't specifically acknowledge any underlying racial motivations.
Keep in mind #LiamNeeson didn’t address his inner racist thoughts, he only addressed that revenge is wrong. For all y’all who are rushing to defend his mentality.— Beast beneath the moonlight (@verbalforeplay) February 5, 2019
The 66-year-old, who is best known for Schindler's List and the thriller series Taken, also described growing up around violence in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, during the Troubles.
"I knew a couple of guys that died on hunger strike, and I had acquaintances who were very caught up in the Troubles, and I understand that need for revenge, but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing, and Northern Ireland's proof of that.
"All this stuff that's happening in the world, the violence, is proof of that, you know. But that primal need, I understand."