Australian actor George Lazenby, who played famous 007 spy James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, has been removed from the final show of a live James Bond music tour after he allegedly made shocking comments during the third show.
There’s no denying that one of the best things about the James Bond films – we’re talking all of them; from Sean Connery through to Daniel Craig – is the music. And so, lucky Australian Bond fans were delighted when it was announced earlier this year that a concert tour where Australia’s best symphony orchestras would perform the music of James Bond live on stage.
Not only this but it was also announced that George Lazenby, the Australian actor who played James Bond in the 1969 film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, would appear at each show and talk about his James Bond experience during the show.
The tour, named Concertworks Presents: The Music Of James Bond, kicked off in Sydney on September 3rd, seemingly without a hitch. But the third show of the tour – which took place in Perth just days ago – has caused quite the controversy. And Lazenby is at the centre of it.
During the show, Lazenby allegedly made homophobic, misogynist and racist comments and told inappropriate stories of past sexual conquests, leaving the audience feeling uncomfortable. In fact, a representative from Concertworks told The Guardian that the last show of the tour – which will take place in Melbourne this coming weekend – will not feature Lazenby at all after multiple complaints were made about the remarks Lazenby made during the Perth show.
Lazenby, now 83 years old, took to Twitter to apologise and wrote, “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.”
The actor, who was the second person to play Bond onscreen after Connery, went on to say, “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.”
Despite Lazenby’s apology, multiple people associated with the Concertworks Presents: The Music Of James Bond tour have still condemned the actor. For instance, Concertworks is issuing refunds to all who attended the Perth show and West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) said in a statement, “His comments were his own and do not reflect our society today. His views are not shared or endorsed by WASO or Perth Concert Hall.”
If anything the whole incident proves our ‘hot take’ right – Austin Powers is better than James Bond… Groovy baby.