New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is setting the record straight about a recent Netflix cameo that has caught the Internet’s attention.
Brady makes a brief appearance in the Paul Rudd-fronted Living With Yourself, which dropped its first season on Oct. 18. In the first episode, Rudd’s character, Miles, arrives at the Top Happy Spa, a strip mall massage parlor where he hopes to receive a rejuvenating treatment (of sorts) that will improve his life. The character is skeptical until he sees Brady walk out of the spa, looking refreshed.
“First time?” Brady asks Miles, who nods and asks, “You?” Brady smiles and replies, “Sixth,” referencing Brady’s number of Super Bowl wins.
The cameo, however, has been interpreted as a dig at Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was charged in February with solicitation of prostitution at a strip mall day spa in Florida.
“That’s not what that was about,” Brady said in an interview on Saturday. “I think that was taken out of context, just like you’re taking it out of context and trying to make it a story for yourself, which has a negative connotation to it, which I don’t appreciate. It was meant to be something different than that.”
Brady added that the scene in question was “shot on a green screen,” not at an actual strip mall, and that it was “agreed to a year ago” and “written four years ago,” long before Kraft’s legal trouble. (Series creator Timothy Greenberg confirmed to Refinery29 that the scene was written before the Kraft imbroglio, though he worried Brady would back out of the appearance once Kraft was charged.)
“It’s unfortunate that people would choose to think I would ever do something like that about Mr. Kraft,” he continued. “I think that’s a very bad assessment of my relationship with him. I would never do that… I sympathize with a lot of things that he’s gone through in his life. I empathize with a lot of people that get taken advantage of and get used and understand that’s part of what we’re living in.”
The NFLer also criticized the “blame-and-shame media atmosphere” that he believes has influenced the public’s reaction to his cameo, adding that “there is a lot of things that are said that are taken out of context that you choose to make a headline of, as opposed to understand[ing] what it’s actually about.”