Angela Lansbury has asserted that there’s no excuse for men to abuse women sexually a day after her comments emerged saying women must accept some blame for sexual harassment and abuse because they make themselves attractive to men.
“There is no excuse whatsoever for men to harass women in an abusive sexual manner,” she said in a statement Wednesday night. “And, I am devastated that anyone should deem me capable of thinking otherwise. Those who have known the quality of my work and the many public statements I have made over the course of my life, must know, that I am a strong supporter of Women’s Rights.”
Lansbury attempted to distance herself from her comments in an interview with Radio Times magazine, saying they were taken out of context. “Lastly, I would like to add that I am troubled by how quickly and brutishly some have taken my comments out of context and attempted to blame my generation, my age, or my mindset, without having read the entirety of what I said,” she said.
But the 92-year-old did not deny having made the comments to the magazine, which included, “We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that. Although it’s awful to say, we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped.”
“There are two sides to this coin,” Lansbury also said in the interview. “We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive. And unfortunately it has backfired on us — and this is where we are today.”
Her comments were published on Tuesday amid a wave of sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood sparked by New York Times and New Yorker exposes detailing decades of alleged misconduct by disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, followed by accusations about Louis C.K., Russell Simmons, Brett Ratner, and Matt Lauer. Twitter users were highly critical of Lansbury, accusing her of victim-blaming.