It turns out that it only takes one allegation of sexual misconduct to make George Takei’s famously silky voice go from weirdly comforting to existentially terrifying.
On Friday, model Scott R. Bunton accused Takei of groping him against his will, and the story has only gotten worse from there. After Takei categorically denied any funny business on Saturday, the Internet uncovered a nauseating interview Takei did with Howard Stern a month ago in which he admitted to grabbing various men’s cocks.
When asked by Stern if he ever gave someone “a gentle squeeze on the balls,” Takei claimed it was “more than a squeeze … but it didn’t involve power over the other.”
After the interview resurfaced, Takei went on Facebook ? a platform where he normally shares clever puns and feel-good progressive news stories ? and explained it all away. Sort of.
“For decades, I have played the part of a “naughty gay grandpa” when I visit Howard’s show, a caricature I now regret,” he wrote. “But I want to be clear: I have never forced myself upon someone during a date.”
Earlier this week, Takei was blaming Russian bots for the increased attention to this sordid episode. He suggested, via two tweets, that his criticism of Vladimir Putin’s anti-LGBTQ policies placed him on blast with the bots.