Goldberg Says Liam Neeson's Not a Bigot As Hostin Compares Revenge Plot to 'Modern Day Lynching'
This Week In Celebrity Sightings

"I've been around a lot of real bigots, I can say this man is not one," says Goldberg.

Liam Neeson said earlier today he's not racist after a shocking revelation about his past went viral this week ... and Whoopi Goldberg seems to have his back.

During an interview that was released on Monday, Neeson admitted that around 40 years ago he went out seeking revenge on any "black bastard" he could find after a friend told him she was sexually assaulted by a black man. His comments exploded online, as many called out the racism in his statements.

This morning, he flat out said on "GMA" he's "not a racist," adding that, had his friend said her attacker was white, he would have sought out someone matching that description as well. "It shocked me and it hurt me," he said of his own actions at the time. "I did seek help, I went to a priest."

Speaking about the topic on "The View" today, Goldberg defended the actor.

"People walk around sometimes with rage, that's what happens. Is he a bigot? No. I've known him a pretty long time, I think I would have recognized," she said. "I've been around a lot of real bigots. I can say this man is not one."

"You can't be surprised that somebody whose loved one is attacked is angry and wants to go out and attack," she added. "What he did go on to say ... is that he realized that it was too dark for him, he went and got himself help."

Sunny Hostin, however, said Neeson's comments really "confused" her.

"I understand very well how you would feel if a loved one was harmed and how you would want to harm the person that did that to them, the person that did that, what I can't understand is how you would go out and seek a random person of the same race to harm," she said. "That, for me, feels like a modern day lynching and that's what happened to black men in this country by white men trying somehow to be righteous about a white woman's virtue."

"For Liam to still be using that experience as his inspiration to tap into, I didn't understand," added Sunny. "I still don't understand."

Speaking more generally, Joy Behar said sometimes it's "better to keep your big mouth shut" when talking about personal prejudices and bigotries. Abby Huntsman also chimed in, saying she found Neeson's interview on "GMA" this morning "refreshing" and "so not PC at a time where maybe the conversation doesn't need to be PC." She hoped it could possibly "move the conversation to a better place."

Meghan McCain then pointed out that, that Neeson actually acted on his violent thoughts at the time, they would be considered a "modern day hate crime."

"I think sometimes when we're walking around we think that racism and bigotry and homophobia is a thing of the past," she continued. "I think we're sitting here today realizing that maybe we haven't come as far culturally -- not even in our culture, he's not an American, it's his country as well -- and that I think it's important to have conversations."

She went on to say it's good he "recognized the deep darkness" inside him in that moment and didn't act on it, but was left thinking of Neeson "in a different way right now."

Watch the actor's full "GMA" interview below:

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