People are accusing legendary actress Angela Lansbury of victim-blaming over comments she made suggesting women are partly to blame for being sexually harrassed.
The Tony winner and former “Murder, She Wrote” star said that women’s attempts at making themselves attractive have “backfired.”
“There are two sides to this coin,” the 92-year-old actress told Britain’s Radio Times. “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.
“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.”
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She was not suggesting, Radio Times pointed out, that fault lies with the victims.
“Should women be prepared for this? No, they shouldn’t have to be,” she said. “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, whose career has spanned seven decades, told Radio Times she has never been harassed or abused by male Hollywood executives.
Her comments kicked up a swift backlash, with people accusing her of victim-blaming.
A spokesperson for the charity Rape Crisis England & Wales said Lansbury’s comments are not helpful to rape survivors.
“It is a deeply unhelpful myth that rape and other forms of sexual violence are caused or ‘provoked’ by women’s sexuality or ‘attractiveness,’” the spokesperson told the Telegraph.
“Rape is an act of sexual violence, power and control that has little to nothing to do with sexual desire. It is as insulting to men as it is to anyone to suggest they’re unable to take responsibility for their own behaviours and that the way a woman presents herself can cause them to lose control or force them to sexually harass or assault her.
“There is no excuse or mitigation for sexual violence and there is no circumstance in which it’s even partially the victim’s or survivor’s fault. Until we accept and acknowledge that, it will be very difficult for us as a society to reduce or prevent rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or sexual abuse.”
Many on social media roasted her opinion.
Some, however, defended her right to speak her mind.
Lansbury just finished work on the upcoming Disney film, “Mary Poppins Returns.”