Angela Lansbury has received fierce backlash for saying women must accept some blame for sexual harassment and abuse because they make themselves attractive to men.
“We must sometimes take blame, women,” she said in an interview with Radio Times magazine. “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.”
The 92-year-old’s 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.
“There are two sides to this coin,” Lansbury said. “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.”
“Should women be prepared for this?” she added. “No, they shouldn’t have to be. There’s no excuse for that. And I think it will stop now — it will have to. I think a lot of men must be very worried at this point.”
Lansbury’s comments were rebuked by the organization Rape Crisis England & Wales, which said in a statement: “It is a deeply unhelpful myth that rape and other forms of sexual violence are caused or ‘provoked’ by women’s sexuality or ‘attractiveness.'”
Twitter users were also highly critical, accusing Lansbury of victim-blaming.
Lansbury is best known as Jessica Fletcher in the long-running TV series “Murder, She Wrote.” She will next be seen in Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” as the Balloon Lady.