Mayim Bialik Defends Herself in Sexual Assault Op-Ed Controversy: "In 900 Words, I Did the Best I Could"

See what the actress had to say about her article in a Facebook Live chat Monday

By Jess Cohen Oct 16, 2017 8:13 PMTags
Mayim BialikDavid Livingston/Getty Images

Mayim Bialik just shared the regret she has over her sexual assault op-ed piece.

The Big Bang Theory actress addressed the article in a Facebook Live chat Monday. Bialik sparked controversy over the weekend after her piece, inspired by allegations made in recent weeks about Harvey Weinstein, was published in the New York Times Friday. Bialik sent out a tweet Saturday after being accused of victim-blaming in her op-ed. 

She told her followers, "I'm being told my N.Y. Times piece resonated with so many and I am beyond grateful for all of the feedback. I also see a bunch of people have taken my words out of the context of the Hollywood machine and twisted them to imply that God forbid I would blame a woman for her assault based on her clothing or behavior."

Mayim Bialik Stirs Controversy With Sexual Harassment and Feminism Op-Ed

She continued, "Anyone who knows me and my feminism knows that's absurd and not at all what this piece was about. It's so sad how vicious people are being when I basically live to make things better for women. I am doing a Facebook live with the N.Y. Times Monday morning. Let's discuss it then."

During the Facebook Live on Monday, Bialik shared how she felt about the response to her op-ed. "Well obviously it's been a very exciting and complicated handful of days," the actress said. "You know I think ultimately and first and foremost I wanna say how honored I am to write for the newspaper that my father taught me to read newspapers from. My father died two years ago and I would like to think that he is very proud and probably critical of what I said or how I said it. But it's a real honor to be a part of this conversation in a publication that literally I grew up reading. And I think especially I feel really honored to be a part of this conversation about the exploitation of women in the industry that has employed me since I'm 11 years old. I tried to write a very specific piece and I'm very honored to be a part of that conversation."

Mayim Bialik Responds to Backlash Over Sexual Harassment and Feminism Op-Ed

She continued, "I've gotten a lot of really, really, really positive reception—which honestly I was very surprised how passionately people felt about it. And yes I have stayed off social media, but it has become clear to me that there are people who think that I either implied or overtly stated that you can be protected from assault because of the clothing you wear or the behavior that you exhibit. That is absolutely not what my intention was and I think that it is safe for me to start this conversation by saying, there is no way to avoid being the victim of assault by what you wear or the way you behave."

Bialik then said, "I really do regret that this became what it became because literally I was trying to speak about a very specific experience I had in a very specific industry. I was not looking to speak about assault and rape in general. The only people who are responsible for their behaviour in assault is the predators who are committing those horrendous acts."

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She continued, "The only people I think who can turn this around are going to be the kind of women who have been coming forward and sharing their experiences as well as men who want to join this conversation with us about in particular the way women and men treat each other and in particular in Hollywood what that means for us who do make a living in that industry."

Bialik also shared, "I'm a human being and there's a lot that I've chosen not to share but absolutely I am deeply, deeply, hurt if any women in particular who has been assaulted, or man, thinks that in any way I was victim-blaming."

She then said, "…in 900 words, I did the best I could to describe an entire, very complicated dynamic that is really best left for a thesis or you know an hour-long talk and not a 900-word piece."

Watch the video above to see Bialik speak more about the controversy.