Actor George Lazenby, who played James Bond in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, has been dropped from a tour bearing his name after several complaints about homophobic and sexist remarks he made onstage.
The remarks reportedly occurred during a performance of the Music of James Bond with George Lazenby tour in Perth, Australia.
A person who attended the show called into an Australian radio station and detailed the remarks Lazenby made, which the attendee said also included slights directed at Queen Elizabeth II the day after she passed last week.
The caller told radio station 6pr:
“He spent all of the interview just talking about basically his sexual conquests, he was homophobic, he swore, he certainly wasn’t talking about his Bond movies, he downplayed the Queen a day after she died."
"It was absolutely unbelievable."
The caller went on to talk of a disturbing story Lazenby related about pursuing a woman at a pub in London.
"At one point he named an Australian cricketer whose daughter he was chasing and he said he dragged the daughter out of the pub and put her in the car in London, which again is of course horrific.”
Lazenby's exact words are unknown. But on Twitter, other attendees provided further details of what Lazenby allegedly said that indicated it was an anecdote about him sexually assaulting the woman.
The caller also said Lazenby named several women he had slept with over the years, which they said was particularly inappropriate given the family atmosphere of the show.
“There were a lot families who had brought their kids probably to their first ever classical music concert."
“It wasn’t even charming, it wasn’t even funny. It was creepy, it was offensive… It was absolutely horrific behavior.”
Lazenby responded to the uproar with a thread on Twitter.
He apologized for his remarks and said the offense they caused was unintentional. Lazenby also mentioned the respect he has for "friends within my close circle who are gay" and the "strong women" in his life.
But the apology did little to quell the controversy. The West Australian Symphony Orchestra, which was part of the event, released a statement on the matter condemning Lazenby's comments.
“Mr Lazenby’s recollections were personal views and they are totally unacceptable."
“His views are not shared or endorsed by WASO or Perth Concert Hall.”
Despite the comments, many rushed to Lazenby's defense, casting the uproar as yet another incidence of "wokeness" gone wild.
But most people on Twitter were disgusted, and Lazenby's apology thread rang hollow.
The show's production company, Concertworks, confirmed via its legal counsel that the show's final performance this weekend in Melbourne would play without his participation after it had received multiple complaints about Lazenby's comments in Perth.