Angela Lansbury responds to reaction to her sexual harassment comments

The Murder, She Wrote star claims her comments were taken out of context

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 13:  Angela Lansbury attends the 2017 Irish Repertory Theatre Gala at Town Hall on June 13, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images, BA)

Murder, She Wrote star Angela Lansbury has fired back at critics of her recent comments to Radio Times about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.

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The 92-year-old actress, who stars in the BBC’s upcoming adaptation of Little Women, said that her statements were taken “out of context”.

“There is no excuse whatsoever for men to harass women in an abusive sexual manner,” she said. “I am devastated that anyone should deem me capable of thinking otherwise.”

Lansbury had told Radio Times magazine this week: “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. I really do think that. Although it’s awful to say that we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped.”

She added: “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 were widely reported in the national and international press and derided by many online:

In her statement on Wednesday, she added that “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 supporter of Women’s Rights.”

Lansbury also expressed her disappointment that some commenters chose to put her comments down to her age:

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“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.”