George Takei has issued an official statement on his Facebook page apologizing for comments he made about sexual assault during an October interview with Howard Stern. During the taping of Stern’s SiriusXM radio show, Takei was asked whether or not he had ever grabbed a man’s genitals against his will, to which he said “uh oh” and laughed. When Stern and co-host Robin Quivers suggested that Takei “persuaded” men to let him touch them and asked if these encounters occurred at work, Takei responded, “It was either in my home. They came to my home.”
The “Star Trek” actor posted on Facebook on November 13 a clarification of sorts, claiming he and Stern were “joking” about him “touching men during my Star Trek days fifty years ago.” Takei explains that he has often played the character of a “naughty gay grandpa” while appearing on Stern’s show, and his controversial comments were made under this character. He admits the jokes were “distasteful” and claims he has never forced himself on anyone during a date.
“For decades, I have played the part of a ‘naughty gay grandpa’ when I visit Howard’s show, a caricature I now regret,” Takei writes. “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.”
The October interview clip resurfaced in November following sexual harassment allegations made against Takei by former model Scott R. Brunton. Brunton described an encounter to The Hollywood Reporter in which he went back to Takei’s Hollywood condo after a date in 1981 and passed out after two drinks. When Brunton woke up, his pants were at his ankles and Takei was allegedly groping his crotch and trying to get his underwear off. The actor denied Brunton’s claims in a Twitter thread posted November 11.
In the wake of the accusation, publications such as Slate, Upworthy, GOOD, Futurism, and Mic are no longer having their articles and videos shared on Takei’s Facebook page. Read Takei’s full apology over his Howard Stern comments in the embed below.