Rodriguez, who co-starred in November’s Widows with the actor, told Vanity Fair that you only need to look at how he passionately kissed Viola Davis in that movie to prove her point. “Racists don’t make out with the race that they hate,” she declared.
The star of Fast & Furious is one of the first to publicly speak out in defense of Neeson after he admitted that, decades ago, he wanted to kill a black man because a close female friend had been raped by a man of the same color.
“It’s all f*****’ bull****. Liam Neeson is not a racist,” Rodriguez told the magazine. “Dude, have you watched Widows? His tongue was so far down Viola Davis’s throat. You can’t call him a racist, ever. 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.
“Ignore it,” Rodriguez concluded. “He’s not a racist. He’s a loving man. It’s all lies.”
Naturally, the actress’s hot take riled people up on social media.
Never thought I’d have to cancel Michelle Rodriguez. Damn… https://t.co/1lMnQCaiVp
— the anime whisperer (@BLACK0_0RABBiT) February 7, 2019
Someone please tell Michelle Rodriguez that slave owners routinely raped Black women. That didn’t absolve them from being racists. Her defense of Liam Neeson is insulting.
— Stephanie. (@qsteph) February 7, 2019
Me to Michelle Rodriguez after reading her defense of Liam Neeson: pic.twitter.com/00GdODutTE
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) February 7, 2019
“His tongue was so far down Viola Davis’s throat. You can’t call him a racist ever”~ Michelle Rodriguez
Her litmus test for racism is a person’s ability to kiss a BW, vs their confession to wanting to randomly kill an innocent Black person. Notedhttps://t.co/C1BHEJvTW1
— Shanita Hubbard (@msshanitarenee) February 7, 2019
Michelle Rodriguez apparently never heard of this thing called “acting.”
Which if you look at her post-Girlfight career shouldn’t surprise anyone. https://t.co/BzcuWZxMoQ
— 𝕬𝖑𝖆𝖉𝖉𝖎𝖓𝕴𝖓𝖘𝖆𝖓𝖊 🌈🌟 (@aeirould) February 7, 2019
Can Michelle Rodriguez just SHHHHHHHHH?!?!?!?!?! Can she retroactively SHHHHHHHHH going back about ten years?!?!?!?! https://t.co/IcVhMrAdZ6
— Caleb Dume’s invited to the barbeque (@pfunk1130) February 7, 2019
What in the name of sweet and sour chicken is wrong with Michelle Rodriguez.
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) February 7, 2019
It’s millions of us walking around descendants of slave rape and Michelle Rodriguez has the nerve to say Liam Neeson isn’t racist because he knows how to bust slobs with Viola Davis. Ridiculous!
— Exavier Pope (@exavierpope) February 7, 2019
Not being funny but Michelle Rodriguez isn’t Black nor did the racist remarks apply to her so as a POC She needs to stay in her lane. I hate it when other demographics try to speak on behalf of Black People like it’s them Liam Neeson was talking about. https://t.co/oIALZZTj1M
— Young Gambino (@EnClaudeNeuf) February 7, 2019
Neeson, who has been promoting his revenge thriller Cold Pursuit, attempted to clarify his controversial admission on Good Morning America this week.
“I’m not a racist,” Neeson told Robin Roberts on Tuesday, but said that he had felt a “primal urge to lash out” after learning about what happened to his friend. “I went out deliberately into black areas in the city, looking to be set upon. … It shocked me and it hurt me. … I did seek help, I went to a priest.”
The Taken star revealed that if his friend’s attacker had been white, he would have had the same impulse. Neeson explained that he hoped one takeaway from the story was that there needs to be a larger discussion around racism and bigotry.
After Tuesday’s attempt at damage control, Neeson is lying low. The red carpet portion of the Cold Pursuit premiere was canceled this week, and he pulled out of a planned appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
It remains to be seen how the scandal will affect the film at the box office this weekend — but at least he knows Michelle Rodriguez will go see it.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: