George Takei: I was joking when I said I grabbed ‘hesitating’ men’s penises

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 04: Actor George Takei attends 2015 New York Film Critics Circle Awards at TAO Downtown on January 4, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

George Takei has said he was simply pretending to approve of sexual misconduct during a radio interview.

Over the weekend, the former Star Trek actor and LGBT activist denied allegations of sexually assaulting a man in 1981, saying he found the claim “bewildering”.

He was accused by former model and actor Scott R Brunton, who said he passed out at Takei’s house before waking up to find Takei assaulting him.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 20:  George Takei attends the "Fiddler On The Roof" Broadway opening night at Broadway Theatre on December 20, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images)


“I was coming to and he had my pants down around my ankles and he was groping my crotch and trying to get my underwear off and feeling me up at the same time, trying to get his hands down my underwear,” Brunton said.

Brunton’s claims were made after many people across the entertainment industry had been accused of sexual misconduct, including Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Sheen, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Tambor and Amazon Studios executive Roy Price.

And it has since emerged that when Takei was a guest on Howard Stern’s radio show last month, he was asked whether he had grabbed anyone’s penis without their consent.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10:  Actor George Takei poses backstage at the KYBOE! fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 10, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Kyboe!)


Stern raised the issue by way of mentioning the accusations made against Harvey Weinstein, and Donald Trump becoming president despite multiple allegations.

After a long pause, the star said: “Uh oh” and laughed, before seeming to add: “Hey boner.”

The host repeatedly asked him to clarify this, with Takei eventually admitting that he had grabbed the crotches of men in his home who he thought were “kind of skittish”.

Actor George Takei arrives for the 16th Annual AARP Movies for Grownups Awards on February 6, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. / AFP / Frederic J. Brown        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)


These were men who were “maybe afraid, and you’re trying to persuade,” he added.

“It’s not about sex, it’s about power.”

Takei said he gave these “hesitating” men “more than a gentle” squeeze.

Writing on Facebook today, the actor has apologised for what he said was a “joke”.

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 20:  Actor, Director, Author and Activist George Takei speaks on stage during We Day at KeyArena on April 20, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images for We Day)


“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 said.

“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.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30:  Actor George Takei attends the Star Trek: The Star Fleet Academy Experience Preview at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on June 30, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)


“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,” he added.

“It was always by mutual consent.

“I see now that that it has come across poorly in the awkward sketch, and I apologise 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.”

Listen to Takei’s interview on Howard Stern’s show here: