Angela Lansbury isn’t on Twitter, but she’s a trending topic for making controversial claims toward victims of sexual harassment: “We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that.”
According to a story published Tuesday by the Guardian, the 92-year-old former star of Murder She Wrote made the remarks to the U.K. publication Radio Times, in which she discussed allegations of sexual abuse and harassment that have upended Hollywood.
“There are two sides to this coin,” she 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.”
Lansbury continued, “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.”
On Tuesday, the actress’s remarks sparked debate on social media, where people called her anti-feminist and “canceled.”
Murder She Wrote would have been quite a different show if in each episode Angela Lansbury blamed the victim.
— StanHengen (@StanHengen) November 28, 2017
Fun fact: Angela Lansbury earned an Oscar nom playing Nancy, the young maid who was manipulated by Gregory & turned against Paula in the movie, “Gaslight,” from which the popular term “gaslighting” comes! Seems apt? https://t.co/HBPkokVwfT
— Caissie St.Onge (@Caissie) November 28, 2017
Angela Lansbury is cancelled pic.twitter.com/U4Flbn8OWj
— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) November 28, 2017
When you're deciding what your hot take on Angela Lansbury will be, remember that Gabby Douglas also attributed sexual assault to how women dress and we later learned she herself had been assaulted. Taking on that blame can be a sign of having lived through something awful.
— Shannon Coulter (@shannoncoulter) November 28, 2017
Lansbury is the third prominent woman to seemingly counter the #MeToo movement.
Earlier this month, Olympian Aly Raisman, 23, tweeted, “We are all in this together. If we are going to create change I need all your help,” in reference to claims that she, along with a number of other athletes, was abused by Larry Nassar, the former doctor of the U.S. Gymnastics team. But teammate Gabby Douglas pushed back.
“It is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy,” Douglas, 21, wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.”
Twitter deflected by blasting Douglas for victim-blaming, and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles came to Raisman’s defense with the tweet below.
shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me… honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly & all the other women out there!
STAY STRONG pic.twitter.com/CccTzhyPcb
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) November 17, 2017
Douglas insisted her words were taken out of context, tweeting, “u misunderstood me. not blaming the victim at all. no man should look at any woman that way.”
Shortly after, Douglas revealed in a lengthy Instagram post that she was also a victim of Nassar.
“I think we have to look at ourselves,” said Karan. “Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it’s been a hard time for women. To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?”
“Harvey has done some amazing things,” Karan said. “I think we have to look at our world and what we want to say and how we want to say it as well. You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”
Karan later told Variety: “My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein. I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual. I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”
In the Radio Times interview, Lansbury disclosed that she had never experienced sexual harassment, saying, “Should women be prepared for this? 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.”
A spokesperson for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), sent the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle: “This is a case of stupidity, she wrote. Sexual assault and harassment are never the victim’s fault. It’s important to believe and support survivors. Blaming them is unacceptable.”
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