"Mr Lazenby’s recollections were personal views and they are totally unacceptable."
Former James Bond star George Lazenby has been removed from a music tour in Perth after making problematic comments in an on-stage interview.
The actor who played James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service has been removed from the last leg of The Music of James Bond tour, in the wake of making a string of comments that have been described as "homophobic", "misogynistic", "creepy" and "disgusting" during the third show of the tour at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday.
The 83-year-old Lazenby caused significant offence to attendees of the family-friendly event. A caller to Perth radio station 6PR provided insight into the nature of the comments revealing that "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 the pub and put her in the car in London, which again is of course horrific. "He named women who he had slept with, and there were children in the audience". “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 behaviour.”
Both the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) who performed in the show and event organiser Concertworks have made statements condemning the comments and explaining the decision to pull Lazenby from the remaining leg of the tour.
Concertworks state that they are "extremely saddened and disappointed” by Lazenby’s “language, comments and recollections” throughout the performance. “These were his personal views and there is no excuse for this in today’s society.” "“They do not reflect the views of Concertworks. On behalf of Concertworks, we sincerely apologise to the audience, performers, conductor, WASO and the Perth Concert Hall." “Concertworks denounces Mr Lazenby’s conduct and the final Music of James Bond concert in Melbourne will proceed without Mr Lazenby in attendance.”
WASO stated, “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." “We thank performers Bonnie Anderson and Luke Kennedy, conductor Nicholas Buc and the WASO musicians for their professionalism.”
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Lazenby has now offered an apology for the comments in a statement that he has posted to Twitter.
“I am sorry and saddened to hear that my stories in Perth on Saturday might have offended some people,” he said in a statement.
“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
Lazenby goes on to say that he didn't mean to cause offence. "I personally have friends within my close circle who are gay and I would never wish to offend anyone.” “Having been surrounded by strong women all my life, I have always admired and respected women and their wishes.”