George Takei Thinks Donald Trump’s Rhetoric Is ‘Damaging to America’

Every night at Allegiance, the Broadway musical based on star George Takei’s real-life experience in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II, there’s a seat specially reserved for Donald Trump.

So far, the Republican presidential candidate—who last week advocated for a ban of all Muslims coming into America in the wake of recent terrorist attacks—has not accepted.

“We have not heard from him yet,” said Takei, most famous for his iconic role in the Star Trek series, in an interview with Fortune. “The invitation is open and I’m an optimist.”

Trump’s recent comments about banning Muslims—along with statements that he might have supported the Japanese interment camps—hits close to home for Takei. At five-years-old, Takei, 78, and his family, who are of Japanese-American heritage, were forcibly displaced and put behind barb wire fences for three years at an internment camp in Arkansas following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

“The consequences of [this] kind of political campaign can be severe,” he said, “and it can be damaging to America.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order impacted around 110,000 Japanese-Americans, and a later report concluded there was little evidence of Japanese disloyalty at the time. Imprisonments at the time were largely a result of racism.

“We happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor,” said Takei. “Therefore, we were incarcerated with no charges, no trial, no due process.”

Takei says Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric draws parallels to that unflattering portion of American history. “I am hearing all the echoes of that period,” he said. “Historians have universally said that was one of the most egregious violations of the United States constitution. We must not repeat that again.”

Takei also believes that the only way for Trump to come to his senses would be a hit to his businesses. Takei, who once competed on Trump’s reality show Celebrity Apprentice, believes Trump’s political campaign is having a material effect on his ventures.

He recounted an experience from his teenage years: “My father explained that our democracy is a people’s democracy. People have a capacity to do great things,” said Takei. “But we are fallible human beings. And fallible human beings made that terrible mistake” with the camps.

“It tarnished America’s reputation,” he added.

Fortune has reached out to Donald Trump’s campaign for comment.

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