In a message posted to Facebook Friday afternoon, actor and gay rights advocate George Takei apologized to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for heatedly labeling him a "clown in blackface."
Takei made the "blackface" comment during an interview with Fox 10 Phoenix last week during which he discussed his anger at Thomas for his dissent in the court's recent decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.
"I referred to him as a 'clown in blackface' to suggest that he had abdicated and abandoned his heritage," Takei wrote of his mistake on Facebook. "This was not intended to be racist, but rather to evoke a history of racism in the theatrical arts. While I continue to vehemently disagree with Justice Thomas, the words I chose, said in the heat of anger, were not carefully considered."
He added that, while blessed with the freedom of speech, Americans must employ such freedom "judiciously," which he did not when making the comment about Thomas.
"My choice of words was regrettable, not because I do not believe Justice Thomas is deeply wrong, but because they were ad hominem and uncivil, and for that I am sorry," Takei added in the post.
Last week, Takei took particular issue with Thomas for implying in his dissent that slaves and individuals held in internment camps had human dignity. He called the Supreme Court justice an "embarrassment" and a "disgrace to America."
Read his full Facebook message below.
I owe an apology. On the eve of this Independence Day, I have a renewed sense of what this country stands for, and how I...Posted by George Takei on Friday, July 3, 2015