George Takei has issued a statement answering criticism over remarks he made about groping last month as a regular guest on Howard Stern’s radio show.
The “Star Trek” star and LGBT rights activist was recently accused of sexually assaulting former model Scott Brunton, then 23, in 1981. Takei said the event “simply did not occur” and stated, “Non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices.”
While no other alleged victims have come forward, clips of the radio interview — in which Stern asked if Takei had ever groped a man without consent — have been circulating on social media. The subject came up during a discussion of sexual assault allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and President Trump.
Takei told Stern at the time, “Some people are kind of skittish, or maybe … afraid, and you’re trying to persuade.” He clarified that this “behavior” occurred at home, not at work, and did not involve someone seeking a job or a promotion.
In his Nov. 13 statement, Takei said, “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 50 years ago. 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.
“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.
“Non-consensual acts are anathema to me and my personal code of conduct, and I would never do something against anyone’s will, period.”