"I have never forced myself upon someone during a date."
George Takei has apologised for his “distasteful” comments on the Howard Stern show.
During the show, which was recorded last month, Stern asks Takei if he ever inappropriately asked anyone for sex or grabbed their genitals. Takei responded, “some people that are kind of, um, um, skittish. Or maybe, uh … afraid. And you’re trying to persuade. But, you know”
The 80-year-old actor denied holding someone over a job for sex, claiming such intention comes from a hunger for power. “That’s what this is all about,” Takei said. “It’s not about sex, it’s about power.”
Whilst declaring that he never grabbed anyone’s genitals at work, Takei admitted to doing so at home. “It was never at work. They came to my home.”
Takei faced criticism for his comments after the October interview resurfaced. In response, Takei released a lengthy message on his Facebook page apologising and denying that he assaulted anyone.
“Many have raised concern over a back-and-forth between Howard Stern and myself, where we joked about me touching men during my Star Trek days fifty years ago,” Takei begins. “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 goes on to express regret for his role on Stern’s show and clarifies that he did not force himself upon anyone in the past.
“For decades, I have played the part of a “naughty gay grandpa” when I visit Howard’s show, a caricature I now regret,” Takei explains. “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.”
“Non-consensual acts are anathema to me and my personal code of conduct, and I would never do something against anyone’s will, period,” he added.
Fans of Takei offered their support to his statement. One user wrote, “anyone who judges you for satire on the #SternShow is an utter moron.”
Another agreed, adding that his comments were humorous, “I have met you several times in the last 30 years. You have always come across as a gentleman. Don’t worry so much about this. Humor is humor. If they can’t recognize a joke… screw them!”
However, some were less forgiving. “Really?! If anyone else tried to dismiss inappropriate behavior with comments about “it was satire” or “it was a joke”, they’d be ripped to shreds. But George says he didn’t do anything and gets a pass. You’ve been pretty hard on other folks who’ve displayed poor judgment at one time or another. Maybe it’s time to stop that. Js”