The 50-year-old Brooklyn Nine-Nine star opened up to ET’s Courtney Tezeno about his recent tweets regarding actor Liam Neeson’s controversy.
"A lot of people thought I was defending him, and I wasn’t,” Crews said at the Spotify Presents the Best New Artist 2019 Party on Thursday. "I was not defending him. I was just saying that basically he was looking back at his life and the fork in the road was that, 'Hey, he could have been a basic racist [supremacist] kind of guy.' That was my point. It was more of an observation of what was going on and people mistook it as I was giving him a pass.”
Neeson has been under fire this week after an interview with Britain’s The Independent surfaced in which the Irish actor told a story about seeking revenge for his friend’s alleged rape. He admitted to going to predominantly black areas looking to “kill” a black man after his friend told him that her attacker was black.
Crews originally tweeted in response to the story, “I believe that every person on earth is capable of the greatest good, or unspeakable evil. Liam is just describing his fork in the road.”
He went on to tweet, “I’m not defending him at all. In fact, he absolutely revealed what births a white supremacist. But what’s worse is those who practice it and NEVER reveal it.”
I believe that every person on earth is capable of the greatest good, or unspeakable evil.
Crews’ comments didn’t sit well with many, including artist Wale who replied to the tweet, writing, “Na. No. Nope. Liam is trash. We losin Brothers all the time because of this proverbial ‘fork’. Na fam.”
Na. No. Nope. Liam is trash . We losin Brothers all the time because of this proverbial “fork” . Na fam https://t.co/FH1T7dsWRN
On Thursday, Crews went on to explain to ET, "I’m a black man! I’ve been hunted. How in the world could you even construe that as a pass?”
The actor noted that he’s had opportunities in life to make the wrong choice as well, saying, “There have been many, many times I’ve come very, very close to not being here. I’m from Flint, Michigan. I could be in jail. I could be dead, and I took the other road. But that’s the point I was making. Does it excuse him? Not at all. But the fact is that he didn’t.”
Crews, who went public with his alleged sexual assault last year, insisted that to move forward, parties involved in these issues must hold themselves accountable and also be able to forgive.
"I am a black man in America. I’ve been a target. I’ve been assaulted. It’s one of those things where I would never, ever have any kind of patience for that,” he said. "But this is the deal too, it’s that forgiveness and accountability go hand in hand.”
For more on the Neeson controversy, watch the clip below: