Former James Bond actor George Lazenby has apologised after being accused of making “homophobic” and “misogynistic” comments in a recent on-stage interview.
The actor, who starred as 007 in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, was appearing as a guest as part of an Australian tour called The Music of James Bond.
However, audience members in Perth took offence at the Australian actor’s anecdotes, describing them as “creepy” and “disgusting”.
Taking to Twitter, Lazenby said he was “sorry and saddened to hear” that his stories had offended some fans.
“It was never my intention to make hurtful or homophobic comments and I am truly sorry if my stories that I have shared many times were taken that way,” he wrote.
Theatre producer Concertworks said it was “extremely saddened and disappointed” by Lazenby’s “language, comments and recollections” during Saturday’s (September 10) show in Perth, and have since removed the actor from all future performances of the tour.
“These were his personal views and there is no excuse for this in today’s society. They do not reflect the views of Concertworks,” said the company’s lawyer, Aaron Kernaghan in a statement (via the BBC).
Kernaghan added that the company has “chosen to discontinue its relationship with Mr Lazenby” and is now conducting a “thorough review of the matter”.
I am sorry and saddened to hear that my stories in Perth on Saturday might have offended some people. It was never my intention to make hurtful or homophobic comments and I am truly sorry if my stories that I have shared many times were taken that way. I only ever wish to share pic.twitter.com/zD9jEazNm2
— George Lazenby (@lazenbyofficial) September 12, 2022
Speaking to Perth radio station 6PR, one audience member said that Lazenby spent most of his time on stage “talking about basically his sexual conquests”.
“He was homophobic, he swore, he certainly wasn’t talking about his Bond movies,” she said, adding that he “downplayed the Queen a day after she died”.
“It was absolutely unbelievable… At one point he named an Australian cricketer whose daughter he was chasing, and he said he dragged the daughter out of a pub and put her in a car in London, which again is of course horrific.
“It wasn’t even charming, it wasn’t even funny. It was creepy, it was offensive… He was disgusting, there’s no two ways about it.”
A second caller to 6PR defended the actor, claiming Lazenby’s stories were a deliberate “exaggeration” for comedic effect.
“He didn’t kidnap [anyone], there was no rape. People were just getting so woke. [The show] was very entertaining until people were yelling out and booing.”
Another attendee claimed that a member of the public heckled Lazenby during his “misogynistic” anecdotes, which prompted the actor to leave the stage.
They told The West Australian newspaper: “It wasn’t until a brave member of the public shouted, ‘Excuse me, this is offensive’, that the tension was released and George was jeered off stage and music saved the day.”
Back in 2020, Lazenby said he would prefer the next James Bond to be played by a woman, naming Margot Robbie as his preferred choice.