George Takei Apologizes for Howard Stern Remark, Calls It "Distasteful" Joke
"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," the 'Star Trek' icon says.
George Takei issued an apology for his comments about grabbing men, saying he was joking when he made the remarks on Howard Stern last month.
A clip of the Star Trek actor's comments on the shock jock's show resurfaced after Takei was accused of sexual assault in 1981.
"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," Takei wrote on Facebook. "For decades, I have played the part of a 'naughty gay grandpa' when I visit Howard’s show, a caricature I now regret."
Former model and actor Scott R. Brunton told The Hollywood Reporter that Takei allegedly took advantage of him one night in 1981 after the two friends went to dinner and the theater to take Brunton's mind off a painful breakup. Brunton accused Takei of assaulting him in the Star Trek actor's Los Angeles condo. Once he realized what was happening, Brunton claimed he quickly left the home.
Takei vehemently denied the allegations, saying he did not remember meeting Brunton.
On Stern, Takei and others were discussing the "irony" of the Harvey Weinstein case and the audiotape of President Donald Trump boasting with Billy Bush about grabbing women's genitals. Stern then asked Takei if he had ever grabbed a man's genitals against his will. Takei initially went silent, then said "uh oh" and laughed. Stern asked again and Takei said, "Some people are kind of skittish, or maybe, um, uh, afraid, and you're trying to persuade."
Co-host Robin Quivers followed up by asking Takei whether he ever held a job over somebody for sex. He said no. Quivers then asked if he did "this grabbing at work," to which Takei replied, "It was either in my home. They came to my home."
In his apology, Takei said he never actually had relations without consent.
"I have never forced myself upon someone during a date," Takei said. "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. Non-consensual acts are anathema to me and my personal code of conduct, and I would never do something against anyone’s will, period."