HomeAmerican EntertainmentLiam Neeson Slams Jimmy Kimmel For His Irish Jokes During the Oscars

Liam Neeson Slams Jimmy Kimmel For His Irish Jokes During the Oscars

by Samantha Whidden
Liam Neeson
(Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Days after the 2023 Oscars, Liam Neeson slammed late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel for the jokes he made about Irish people during the big event. 

According to Yahoo! Entertainment, Kimmel was the host of this year’s Oscars. During his opening monologue, he declared, “It’s been some year for diversity and inclusion. We have nominees from every corner of Dublin. Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the odds of another fight on stage just went way up.”

Kimmel was referring to the live-action short film An Irish Goodbye as well as Irish actors Colin Farrell, Paul Mescal, and Brendan Gleeson. After the comedian’s joke, the screen showed Farrell and Gleeson who jokingly raised their fists at the cameras. Late on in the show, Kimmel cut short Irish animator, Richie Baneham, while he was accepting his award for best visual effects for Avatar: The Way of Water by making a joke about the Irish accent. 

However, not everyone was laughing at Kimmel’s jokes. After being asked about Kimmel’s comments and jokes, Liam Neeson referred to the comedian as being a racist. “I heard he was being a bit racist,” Neeson told The Times. “Jokes about Irish fighting, drinking, and all that. I don’t know what to say.”

While continuing his chat with The Times, Liam Neeson shared his thoughts about the possible link between violence on scene and in real life. 

“It’s very much an American problem,” Neeson explained. “That Second Amendment. And, OK, I’ve made a few violent films and used a gun quite a few times, but speaking for myself, I grew up surrounded by violence. Certainly from 1969 onwards…”

Liam Neeson notably grew up in Northern Ireland and experienced the violence that the region dealt with for decades. “I grew up with matinees,” he said. “Cowboys slaughtering Indians and vice versa. I loved having a toy gun, but was never drawn to think, ‘I wonder what it’s like to shoot with a real gun?’ But gun violence in the U.S. is staggering.”

When asked if the violence in the U.S. would never make him reconsider violent films, Neeson declared, “It gives me pause for thought, yes.” 

Meanwhile, Liam Neeson opened up about why he decided to not take on the role of James Bond. He said when he showed interest in the role, his then-girlfriend, Natasha Richardson wasn’t a huge fan of the idea. She also told him she wouldn’t marry him if he took the role. He decided to turn down the opportunity, and the role eventually went to Pierce Brosnan. 

Neeson and Richardson ended up getting married in 1994 and had two children together. Unfortunately, the actress eventually passed away after a skiing accident in 2009.