English actor Patrick Stewart admitted he was "embarrassed" to appear before a French audience when promoting new series Star Trek: Picard at Comic Con Paris, where Stewart called efforts to separate Britain from the European Union a "disgrace." Appearing alongside Picard co-stars Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, Isa Briones and Evan Evagora, Stewart ended the panel by cordially telling his co-stars, "You can participate in this or not, depending on how you feel." Standing and addressing the audience, Stewart said his trip to the Paris convention was a "very, very bitter experience in many respects."
"For the last 35 years, I have been so proud to belong to a country that was part of the European Union," Stewart said to applause. "And I am embarrassed to stand here in front of you, representing a country that is seeking to break that invaluable connection."
Citing his participation in London's "million-person" Let Us Be Heard march in October, Stewart continued, "I want you to know that well more than half of the population of the United Kingdom wants to stay in the European Union."
"The Berlin Wall came down. The Soviet Union ended its dominance and control over so many nations. Apartheid was ended in South Africa. The Good Friday Agreement brought together — although there are still problems — Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland," Stewart said. "The European Union is all part of that movement, and it is a disgrace that individuals in my country are attempting to separate it."
In February, Stewart told the Press Association he was "alarmed, concerned and scared" about Brexit's impact on Britain's future.
"I have reflected a great deal on it because I'm very involved in the remain campaign and have been for a couple of years. It would be dishonest not to in a story like this, where people are trying to not only improve society, they also save society, and, oh Lord, do we need it saving now," he said. "I am very alarmed, concerned, not to say actually scared of what is actually going to come out of this. I am an optimist and always have been by nature, things will get better — but before they do it could get very very much worse and it concerns me that so many people seem not to be factoring that into this vote."
More from Comic Con Paris:
Star Trek: Picard premieres on CBS All Access Jan. 23, 2020.