Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: WikiCommons
The former James Bond star George Lazenby has been axed from a national music tour after spouting offensive and homophobic comments.
The 83-year-old who played the 007 agent in the 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, was participating in an on-stage interview as part of The Music of James Bond tour at the Perth Concert Hall on Saturday (10 September) when he made the "disgusting" comments.
Get dressed to impress as Concertworks presents the Australian concert tour of The Music of James Bond with Australia’s original James Bond 007, George Lazenby in September 2022.
🎫 Tickets on sale now: https://t.co/FqDwhbQZal pic.twitter.com/yyobsAvdGd— Ticketek Australia (@Ticketek_AU) July 10, 2022
The Australian actor is being accused of being homophobic, misogynistic and offensive in an on-stage interview at the classical music concert.
Lazenby spent the interview "talking about basically his sexual conquests,” one audience member told Perth radio station 6PR.
"He was homophobic, he swore, he certainly wasn't talking about his Bond movies,” they continued. "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."
Following complaints, Lazenby took to Twitter to apologise.
In a series of tweets, Lazenby shared: “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 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
“I personally have friends within my close circle who are gay and I would never wish to offend anyone,” he continued. “Having been surrounded by strong women all my life, I have always admired and respected women and their wishes.”
Lazenby will not be a part of future shows and organisers Concertworks shared they are "extremely saddened and disappointed" by Lazenby’s comments during the performance.
"These were his personal views and there is no excuse for this in today’s society," Concertworks continued. "We sincerely apologise to the audience, performers, conductor, WASO and the Perth Concert Hall.
The statement adds: "Concertworks denounces Mr Lazenby’s conduct and the final Music of James Bond concert in Melbourne will proceed without Mr Lazenby in attendance."
Following Daniel Craig departing from the modern Bond role, speculation about who should take the reigns is currently a hot topic.
Welsh actor Luke Evans' name repeatedly appears in rumours circulating the Bond role and the actor, who identifies as gay, has recently said that he doesn't think Bond's sexuality "really matters" to the character.
The Attitude September/October issue is out now.