A prominent fashion designer attempted to walk back comments she made that have been interpreted as defending Harvey Weinstein amid the fallen film mogul’s sexual harassment scandal.
Donna Karan issued an apology today for quotes reported by the U.K. publication The Daily Mail, attributed to a red carpet interview at Sunday’s CineFashion Film Awards.
Karan, 69, who’s behind the DKNY clothing label, is quoted saying during the interview: “I think we have to look at ourselves. … How do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all of the sensuality and all of the sexuality?”
Karan added: “I don’t think it’s only Harvey Weinstein. I don’t think we’re only looking at him; I think we’re looking at a world much deeper than that. He’s being looked at right now as a symbol, not necessarily as him.”
She also said: “I know his wife — I think they’re wonderful people. Harvey has done some amazing things. I think we have to look at our world and what we want to say and how we want to say it as well.”
She added: “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’s comments drew a harsh backlash. The Daily Mail reports that Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein’s alleged victims, called the designer “deplorable,” adding that “aiding and abetting” Weinstein “is a crime.”
The AP reports that Karan apologized early this morning, releasing a statement saying: “I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe. 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.”