Angela Lansbury faced serious backlash earlier this week after stating that women “must sometimes take blame” for sexual harassment.
“There are two sides to this coin,” the 92-year-old said in an interview with Radio Times published on Tuesday, November 28. “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,” she continued. “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.”
Not surprisingly, her controversial comments generated fierce outrage on social media with critics — including Patricia Arquette — accusing the Murder, She Wrote actress of victim-blaming. Though Lansbury did not deny making the remarks, she claims they were misinterpreted.
“There is no excuse whatsoever for men to harass women in an abusive sexual manner. I am devastated that anyone should deem me capable of thinking otherwise,” Lansbury said in a statement obtained by Us Weekly Wednesday night. “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 support of women’s rights.”
Lansbury, who is is set to appear in next year’s Mary Poppins Returns, took aim with age-shamers. “Lastly, I would like to add that I am troubled by how quickly and brutishly some have taken my comments out of context and attempted to blame my generation, my age, or my mindset, without having read the entirety of what I said.”
Her comments were published amid a wave of sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood.