Steve McQueen's “Widows” begins with the wondrously set-up image of Viola Davis and Liam Neeson in bed together and passionately kissing. Some of the audience I saw the film with actually gasped at the scene and how, quite frankly, erotic the smooching was. Was it because Davis is an African-American woman and Liam Neeson is pure Irish white? Quite possibly. The reaction was telling; it showcased how some people are still in total denial that an interracial couple can have a passionate on-screen romance.
McQueen spoke to BuzzFeed about the scene, stating that he tried to “amplify a mixed-race couple kissing in a way that their tongues onscreen is the first image. If you saw it in the street you wouldn’t think twice of it but somehow on the big screen it sort of amplifies and magnetizes what that is.”
“Widows” star Michelle Rodriguez hasn’t forgotten about that scene and actually defended Neeson by saying:
“It’s all fuckin’ bullshit. Liam Neeson is not a racist,” (via Vanity Fair). “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. It’s all bullshit. Ignore it. He’s not a racist. He’s a loving man. It’s all lies.”