George Takei: I Regret Playing The ‘Naughty Gay Grandpa’ On The Howard Stern Show

George Takei is apologizing for discussing grabbing men in an interview with Howard Stern that took place just weeks before the “Star Trek” star was accused of groping an ex-model.

Takei, 80, appeared on “The Howard Stern Show” in October and was asked if he had ever grabbed anyone, and after a long pause, he did say he had grabbed men consensually, but not in a work or a power setting.

“Some people are kind of skittish, or maybe, um, uh, afraid, and you’re trying to persuade,” said Takei.

Stern even asked, jokingly, “Do we need to call the police?”

“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. 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 wrote on Facebook.

“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.”

George Takei at TED Talks

When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a “security” measure during World War II.

70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.

George Takei wants 2014 Olympics out of Russia

It’s been bubbling for some time, but the controversy over Russia’s draconian “gay propaganda” law has now boiled over.

Last week, Russia’s Sports Minister confirmed that the country intends to enforce its laws against visiting LGBT athletes, trainers and fans, meaning anyone even so much as waving a rainbow flag (and I presume many men enthusiastically watching and dramatically commenting on figure skating) would be arrested, held for weeks and then deported.Given this position, the IOC must do the right thing, protect its athletes and the fans, and move the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia.

The International Olympic Committee’s fundamental principles include an unequivocal statement: “The practice of sport is a human right.

Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” In specific response to the Russian law, the IOC, in a recent interview, doubled down: “[We] would like to reiterate our long commitment to not discriminate against those taking part in the Olympic Games. The IOC is an open organization and athletes of all orientations will be welcome at the Games.” It appears Russia isn’t listening, and indeed now has raised the stakes by threatening arrests.

There have been urgent calls for boycotts of the Olympics and of Russian exports like vodka. These are understandable: It just doesn’t seem right to see any of our dollars flowing to that nation. But a boycott of the games would punish athletes who have trained for years to participate, and a boycott of Russian vodka isn’t going to effect the kind of change needed. Besides, with Russia’s confirmation that it will enforce its law, our LGBT athletes are in real danger, and their safety must be paramount.

Read more

George Takei on his unlikely friendship with Artie Lange

George Takei discusses his unlikely friendship with Artie Lange, formerly of The Howard Stern Show. When Takei started to become a regular guest and eventually the announcer on Stern, he and Lange bonded rather quickly.

“He’s a funny guy and he’s a very original guy,” Takei said. “A guy who has a lot of demons. And again, he’s a flawed human being. I love the guy. He’s basically a very decent guy.

“He plays that New Jersey macho guy. Sports-loving, beer-swilling and yeah, other problems,” Takei continued, alluding to Lange’s well-documented struggle with heroin addiction. “But demons have a way of suddenly overtaking him.”

In early 2010, Lange stabbed himself nine times with a 13-inch knife.

“That attempt at self mutilation,” Takei remembered. “It was horrific. Blood spattered all over that apartment. I tried to get in touch with him and got no response. So finally I wrote to his sister. And his sister said he was healing. He was in a sanitarium and isolating himself.”

Takei had only one message for his friend:

“I told him that we love him. We used to talk regularly but I haven’t gotten any communication since [the suicide attempt]. But he has a lot of things haunting him. Maybe what he did has given him a guilt thing about it. That’s why, I think, Howard’s still a little skittish about it. Because Artie’s so volatile and explosive.”

George Takei: “Tax Me, Please”

George Takei first became known for portraying Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, but in more recent years, he’s become just as famous for his social media posts on Facebook and his airtime on The Howard Stern Show.  The actor and radio announcer blogged about something more serious today, his feelings on the looming fiscal cliff.

In a open letter he titled “Tax Me, Please,” Takei issued a plea to lawmakers:

In the coming weeks, Congress and the President must come to an agreement on taxes and spending, or face the dreaded “fiscal cliff” no one wants to jump off. I’m just one citizen, but here’s what I have to say for what it’s worth: Tax me higher.

I didn’t grow up wealthy. In fact, when I was a little boy, the government took everything away from my family and shipped us off to an internment camp. Years later, when we returned to Los Angeles, we had to scrape our way up from nothing, living on skid row and saving our money, until my parents could start up a cleaning business and move us slowly and steadily back into a middle class lifestyle. I know what it’s like to be dirt poor, and to struggle to make it in this country.

But as an actor today, I enjoy a lifestyle my parents probably never dreamed of. Despite how this country has at times misstepped and mistreated us, I love America and believe in her promise of providing equal opportunity for all. I want to see her back on top. That is why I feel it is not only fair, but my patriotic duty to support higher taxes on the top 2% percent of incomes.

During the first few years of the George W. Bush era, when there was still a surplus, they cut these taxes a few percentage points. These marginal tax rate cuts were never meant to be permanent; none of us who got them expected them to be. We always knew they’d one day return to the levels they were during the Clinton era. To suggest that we now shouldn’t give them up is silly, especially in a time where we are facing huge deficits and a looming “fiscal cliff.”

I don’t want to go off that cliff. So Congress, roll up your sleeves, compromise if you must, but don’t start from the position that my taxes can’t go up. They must, and they should.

George Takei

George Takei gets personal on Stern and More!

George Takei gets interviewed by Stern Show listener Allison Hope Weiner on his Howard Stern show role, decision to come out of the closet publicly, Artie Lange and dealing directly with homophobia.

George shares some very personal stories of his upbringing and his Japanese-American family’s internment during WWII. George’s new Japanese Interment musical titled Allegiance runs from Sept. 7 – Oct. 21, 2012 at The Old Globe, CA.