On Friday night, the Hollywood Reporter broke allegations against actor and LGBT advocate George Takei, who was accused by a male model of sexually assaulting him in 1981. Takei swiftly denied the claim while stating that this “simply did not occur.” Not helping matters? Takei’s newly resurfaced (October) comments on The Howard Stern Show, where the actor admitted to grabbing men’s genitals in order to “persuade” them. And this weekend, Takei did something else that didn’t present a good look.
In a move that evoked shades of Kevin Spacey coming out in response to sexual assault allegations against him, Takei blamed Russia for amplifying the the male model’s accusations. In doing so, Takei tweeted (and subsequently deleted) a chart that purportedly showed Russian bot-activity trends over 48 hours. The chart originated from SecuringDemocracy.org and showed “Takei” and “George Takei” high atop the trending list. Takei claimed that these bots attacked his Facebook page, and his team had to “ban all traffic from within the Russian federation.”
Oh no. Naturally, people screencapped this disaster and called out Takei for sort-of saying that “Russia did it” while adding that the country wanted to “cow him into silence.”
Of course, it’s not unreasonable to imagine that Russian bots would spread a negative story about a Trump critic, but Takei’s public comment on the matter looks like an attempt to downplay the allegations against him. As such, one concerned Takei fan tweeted, “Don’t go in this direction. If the allegations are untrue, say so, and leave it at that. Russia is not trying to silence you. This makes you sound silly (and too self-important).”
Others were even harsher in their assessments of Takei’s declaration.
There are a lot more tweets where those came from, but they’re much uglier in nature. Whatever Takei was trying to accomplish here, it didn’t work.