John C Reilly says the English harbour ‘latent racism’ towards the Irish

John C Reilly

Hollywood star John C Reilly has said that some English people still harbour ‘latent racism’ towards the Irish.

He added that he has experienced this first hand because of his Irish heritage.

Reilly said that English people comment on the appearance of Irish people in a negative way – in a way that would not be acceptable to do people of other backgrounds.

John C Reilly

He told the Sunday Independent: “Well, there is still a certain latent racism in England toward Irish people.

“So when I see a piece by some English writer that begins ‘I sat down with potato-faced John C Reilly’, I think to myself ‘Oh, really?’ I could make racial comparisons about people’s appearance but I wouldn’t do that.”

“Because it’s to do with something Irish, it’s couched in this sort of friendly twee way but, in fact, it is racism. I mean, even the whole ginger thing being a negative. That’s just another way of criticising Irish people. But hey, listen, we are all just hustlers out here, trying to sell our stories.

“Some English guy leading off with a description of how I look is just trying to get someone to notice the article. What some anonymous writer says about me actually doesn’t matter.”

Reilly recently revealed that he is set to become an Irish citizen – fulfilling a long time wish that he thought could never happen as he was a generation ‘too late’.

The Chicago native said: “I’m going to be a citizen now, Ireland has just declared that they’re going to make me into a citizen now. I was at the US Embassy last night and I made a pitch and they said ‘alright, it’s underway.’

“I made a big promise last night and said if the Irish government will grant me dual citizenship, I will play a concert in any pub that requests it for one year. So, your move Higgins.”

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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling