Angela Lansbury says women “must sometimes take blame” for sexual harassment because they “have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive”.
The 92-year-old actress, who is starring in the BBC1 adaptation of Little Women this Christmas, told this week’s issue of Radio Times that, in the light of the recent accusations made against Hollywood figures, women making efforts to look attractive “has backfired”.
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“There are two sides to this coin,” she said. “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 we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped.”
Lansbury is not, however, suggesting that fault lies with individual victims: “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.”
The veteran Hollywood actress, who’s had a career spanning seven decades, said she didn’t suffer any harassment or abuse from male executives.
Lansbury’s comments come after DKNY founder Donna Karan sparked criticism for defending the disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein and suggesting that women are ‘asking for it’ if they dress seductively.
Read the full interview with Angela Lansbury in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale now in shops and via iTunes