George Lazenby, a former James Bond actor, has expressed regret after being accused of using “creepy” and “disgusting” language during a stage interview.
The actor, who originated the role of 007 in the 1969 movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, was taking part in The Music of James Bond, an Australian tour.
Audience members in Perth were offended by remarks and explicit anecdotes that they deemed to be “homophobic.”
Lazenby expressed his sadness at learning that his stories had offended some of his fans.
He issued an apology in a statement, saying, “It was never my goal to make harsh or homophobic statements and I am sorry if my stories that I have shared many times were viewed that way.
All next concerts on the tour have been canceled for the 83-year-old Australian actor.
Lazenby’s “language, comments, and recollections” throughout the Perth performance on Saturday left theatre producer Concert’s works “very disturbed and disappointed.”
According to Aaron Kernaghan, the attorney for Concert works, “These were his personal opinions and there is no excuse for this in today’s culture. They do not reflect the views of Concert works organization.”
The organization apologized to its audience, its performers, and the Perth Concert Hall. It also followed up with concertgoers who expressed concerns.
According to Mr. Kernaghan, in the interim, it has “decided to cease its engagement with Mr. Lazenby” and has started “a complete assessment of the incident.”
One audience member claimed that Lazenby “essentially talked about his sexual conquests” during the interview on Saturday.
She told Perth radio station 6PR that “he was homophobic, he swore, and he certainly wasn’t talking about his Bond movies.” A day after the Queen passed away, he minimized her, she continued.
“It was just ridiculous… At one point, he mentioned an Australian player whose daughter he was after, and he claimed to have pulled the daughter from a pub and put her in a car in London, which is horrifying.
“It wasn’t even endearing or humorous. It was unsettling and unpleasant. There is no denying that he was filthy.
The interview was described as having “self-interested misogynistic stories of George Lazenby’s sexual prowess, intimate details of diarrhea, and objectification of women,” according to another attendee.
The West Australian newspaper quoted them as saying, “Music saved the day when a brave member of the audience exclaimed, ‘Excuse me, this is disrespectful.'” George was then booed off the stage.
On Twitter, concertgoer Joseph McCormack said that at least one spectator “pointed out the offense that Lazenby was causing” during the performance.
The actor was backed by a second caller to 6PR who claimed that his stories were purposefully “exaggerated” for comedy effect.
People were simply becoming more politically aware. “[The play] was quite fun until people were crying out and booing,” one person said. “He didn’t abduct [anyone], there was no rape.
The nature of Lazenby’s remarks could not be independently verified by the BBC.
In a statement issued this past weekend, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO), which also played at the performance, expressed their distancing from the performer.
The orchestra stated that the conductor’s memories “may have reflected a time when such behavior was allowed but has never been appropriate.”
His opinions are not shared or supported by WASO or Perth Concert Hall. His comments were his own and do not reflect our society today.
David Templeman, Australia’s minister of culture, continued, “I understand that the crowd made their views about the topic plain, and good on them.
When Lazenby was chosen to be Sean Connery’s replacement in the James Bond series, he shot into popularity.
He only appeared in one movie and claimed to have turned down $1 million in pay to reprise the part. He was a former model with no prior acting experience.
At the time, he declared, “Bond is a brute… I’ve already left him behind me. I will never play him again. Peace – that’s the message now.”
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