Legendary actress Angela Lansbury — a three-time Oscar nominee and a television fixture with a stunning 264 episodes of “Murder, She Wrote” under her belt — ruffled some feathers with her recent comments about Hollywood’s sexual harassment scandal.
“There are two sides to this coin,” the 18-time Emmy nominee said in an interview with 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.”
She added: “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.”
Lansbury, 92, also said: “Should women be prepared for this? No, they shouldn’t have to be. 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’s comments drew sharp criticism. The U.K. publication The Telegraph quotes a statement from Rape Crisis England & Wales in response to Lansbury’s remarks in which the organization said:
“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.
“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.”