Angela Lansbury sparked criticism online Tuesday after she suggested that women must share part of the blame for Hollywood’s culture of sexual harassment.
The 92-year-old “Murder, She Wrote” actress, who is starring in BBC1’s upcoming mini-series “Little Women,” told the U.K.’s Radio Times this week that “there are two sides to this coin,” regarding the recent avalanche of sexual harassment allegations levied against prominent male figures in Hollywood.
“We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive,” Ms. Lansbury said. “And unfortunately it has backfired on us — and this is where we are today.
“We must sometimes take blame, women,” she added. “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.”
Ms. Lansbury clarified that she doesn’t believe there is any excuse that would justify sexual harassment.
“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.”
Ms. Lansbury, who got her start on the big screen in the 1944 Oscar-winning film “Gaslight,” said she never experienced any harassment or abuse from male executives, Radio Times reported.
Ms. Lansbury’s comments garnered criticism online, with many commenters accusing her of blaming the victims of sexual abuse.
Unaired Murder She Wrote ending: Murderer: I did it. I murdered her. Angela Lansbury: Well, look how she was dressed. You are both to blame.
— amber ruffin (@ambermruffin) November 28, 2017
Stupidity, She Wrote. https://t.co/rhAaiDUl7F
— Stefan Stevenson (@StevensonFWST) November 28, 2017
Angela Lansbury, star of the 1944 version of Gaslight, which gave us the term ‘Gaslighting’, has just declared that attractive women share the blame for sexual harassment. pic.twitter.com/x3ruL22cIR
— Dr Fern Riddell (@FernRiddell) November 28, 2017
“MURDER SHE WROTE” would have been such a different show if Angela Lansbury had spent every episode trying to deduce how the victim brought it upon herself.
— Cole Haddon (@colehaddon) November 28, 2017
Angela Lansbury is cancelled pic.twitter.com/U4Flbn8OWj
— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) November 28, 2017
Angela Lansbury went 92 years without being controversial but decided victim-blaming was the opinion to throw herself under the bus over. pic.twitter.com/WrRKsT5vOg
— Hanna Flint (@HannaFlint) November 28, 2017
Fun fact: Angela Lansbury earned an Oscar nom playing Nancy, the young maid who was manipulated by Gregory & turned against Paula in the movie, “Gaslight,” from which the popular term “gaslighting” comes! Seems apt? https://t.co/HBPkokVwfT
— Caissie St.Onge (@Caissie) November 28, 2017
Others pointed to Ms. Lansbury’s age and said she be left alone.
OK so “they’re from a different time” isn’t exactly an excuse, but Angela Lansbury grew up in the Hollywood era where harassment was the norm. She’s a victim of that culture, not a perpetrator. I’m putting my lighter and my effigy down.
— Philip Ellis (@Philip_Ellis) November 28, 2017
Angela Lansbury’s comments show an attitude that does real harm. But most of all I feel very sad for her and all the other women who have lived by these rules and placed blame at their own door and I think reactions should contain compassion and reflection on generational change.
— Laura Waddell (@lauraewaddell) November 28, 2017
When you’re deciding what your hot take on Angela Lansbury will be, remember that Gabby Douglas also attributed sexual assault to how women dress and we later learned she herself had been assaulted. Taking on that blame can be a sign of having lived through something awful.
— Shannon Coulter (@shannoncoulter) November 28, 2017
Leave Angela Lansbury alone. (Yes, what she said was offensive and unhelpful. Still. Leave *92-year-old* Angela Lansbury alone. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go listen to the original Broadway cast recording of Mame.)
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) November 28, 2017
Angela Lansbury is 92 years old. Getting mad at her on twitter because she doesn’t have the most modern ideas about sexual harassment is pointless and kind of dumb.
— Tom & Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) November 28, 2017
© Copyright (c) 2017 News World Communications, Inc.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.