Hollywood comedy star John C Reilly has hit back at what he says is racism directed at him because he is of Irish descent.

Reilly is famous for his parts in movies like Step Brothers with Will Ferrell and is currently lending his voice to animated feature Ralph Breaks the Internet..

In an interview with the Sunday Independent, he said: “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, whose father is of Irish descent and mother is from Lithuania, grew up in a tough neighbourhood on the south side of Chicago in the United States.

Read the full interview with John C Reilly in the Sunday Independent

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