Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa has apologised for joking he got to “rape beautiful women” as part of his role on the hit HBO show.
Recently unearthed footage of the actor speaking on a Comic-Con panel in 2011 shows Momoa commenting on the violent acts he got to perform as his character Khal Drogo.
“But as far as sci-fi and fantasy, I love that genre because there are so many things you can do, like rip someone’s tongue out of their throat and get away with it and rape beautiful women,” he said.
His castmates were visibly embarrassed, while the crowd laughed.
The footage was shared by a Twitter user on Wednesday and has since been retweeted thousands of times.
However, it wasn’t the only time the actor spoke of the sexual violence portrayed in the show off-handedly in 2011.
“Yeah, I’m raping Emillia [Clarke]” he told New York Post.
“I love her, but I’m hurting her and she’s crying. We could have made it longer, but you get the idea. I’m not a rapist. I prefer my women to enjoy sex.”
Faced with mounting outrage, the actor, who is set to star as Aquaman in DC’s upcoming Justic League film, apologised for his comments in a statement posted to Instagram.
Momoa said the public’s reactions to his “distasteful joke” were “justified”.
“I am severely disappointed in myself at the insensitivity of my remarks that day,” the 38-year-old said.
“I know my sincerest apology now won’t take away from those hurtful words.
“It is unacceptable and I sincerely apologise with a heavy heart for the words I said.”
He added that he had seen first hand the “painful torment” or rape and sexual harassment in the victims among his family and friends.
It’s been quite a revealing week in Hollywood, with film executive Harvey Weinstein facing dozens of allegations of sexual harassment and assault as well as Momoa’s co-star Ben Affleck apologising for groping actress Hilarie Burton’s breast in 2003.