Liam Neeson interview could be huge mistake or PR success

Hollywood sign
Hollywood sign

Remember the time when John Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus?

Back in the 1960s, the furore across the pond was huge. Sales of Beatles records in the States rocketed as disgusted Americans bought LPs in order to burn them in protest.

Ian Hart

Ian Hart

What Lennon was actually alluding to was that young people found more significance in contemporary music than they did in religion.

This week, while plugging his latest movie, Cold Pursuit, actor Liam Neeson recounted an incident nearly 40 years ago when, in the wake of a rape of close friend, he went out for a week armed with a cosh, seeking vengeance.

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What he said was wrong and clearly flawed, and if he had the time again the interview probably would have been stopped and deleted.

It’s making news right across the globe, with the film getting mentioned on numerous occasions, and at times getting a clip aired.

Neeson quickly appeared on the US’s top breakfast show, Good Morning America, and even received support from the unlikely source of English footballing legend John Barnes.

The studio may see the cancellation of the red-carpet premiere as collateral damage, but fast forward 12 months – Will the movie have bombed at the box office? Will Neeson still be an A-lister this time next year?

And, after the storm has died down and Neeson is back making movies again, will history view this as a huge mistake he came back from or perhaps an inadvertent PR success?

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