Angela Lansbury Says Women Must Sometimes Accept "Blame" for Sexual Harassment

Actress clarifies comments she made in a now-controversial Radio Times interview

By Jess Cohen Nov 30, 2017 3:20 AMTags
Angela Lansbury Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

UPDATE: Angela Lansbury is speaking up to clarify her highly criticized interview, explaining that she's "devastated" by the backlash.

"There is no excuse whatsoever for men to harass women in an abusive sexual manner," the 92-year-old said in a statement to People. "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."


Angela Lansbury's comments about sexual harassment have sparked controversy on social media.

In the wake of the numerous allegations against Harvey Weinstein and others in Hollywood, the 92-year-old former Murder, She Wrote actress is receiving backlash for statements she made about sexual harassment in an interview with the Radio Times.

"There are two sides to this coin. 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 said.

She went on to say, "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."

But Lansbury added that women "shouldn't have to be" prepared for this.

"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."

In response to her comments, the Rape Crisis England & Wales released a statement (via the Telegraph): "It is a deeply unhelpful myth that rape and other forms of sexual violence are caused or 'provoked' by women's sexuality or 'attractiveness'. 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."

The statement continued, "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."

This story was originally posted on Nov. 28 at 10:27 a.m.

Latest News