George Takei apologizes for joking about touching men 50 years ago
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – George Takei has apologized for the controversy stemming from his October interview with Howard Stern, where the two joked about Takei touching men during his “Star Trek” days 50 years ago.
In the wake of sexual assault charges levied against the actor, Takei penned a lengthy Facebook post on Monday to explain himself, saying, “Out of context, I agree that the joke was distasteful, and I’m very sorry he and I made fun out of a serious matter.”
He continued, “For decades, I have played the part of a ‘naughty gay grandpa’ when I visit Howard’s show, a caricature I now regret. But I want to be clear: I have never forced myself upon someone during a date. Sometimes my dates were the initiators, and sometimes I was. It was always by mutual consent. I see now that that it has come across poorly in the awkward sketch, and I apologize for playing along with Howard’s insinuation.”
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Recently, former model Scott R. Brunton accused Takei of sexually assaulting him in 1981. Brunton alleges that Takei groped him and attempted coerce him into sexual contact. Takei has denied the claims.
The actor drew negative attention again when his Stern interview resurfaced. In the interview, they were discussing the fallout of Harvey Weinstein, whose own allegations of sexual misconduct had just surfaced at the time. Stern asked Takei if he’d ever groped a man without consent, to which Takei replied after a period of silence saying, “Uh oh. Some people are kind of skittish, or maybe afraid, and you’re trying to persuade.” Later, Takei said his “behavior” occurred at his home, not at work.
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