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.
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.”
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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:
Angela Lansbury is cancelled pic.twitter.com/U4Flbn8OWj
— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) November 28, 2017
Murder She Wrote would have been quite a different show if in each episode Angela Lansbury blamed the victim.
— StanHengen (@StanHengen) 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
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:
“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.”