The Telegraph:-Women must accept some blame for sexual harassment and abuse because they “go out of their way to make themselves attractive” to men, Dame Angela Lansbury has said.
While other Hollywood actresses have condemned the stories that have surfaced since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, Dame Angela offered a strikingly different take.
“There are two sides to this coin. 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,” the 92-year-old told Radio Times.
She added that the fault does not lie 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.”
Dame Angela said she had not suffered any harassment during her time as a young actress in Hollywood, where she was signed to MGM studios and earned an Oscar nomination for her first role, in the 1944 film Gaslight.
Her career is still a busy one and she will be on screen this Christmas in a BBC One adaptation of Little Women, as the cantankerous Aunt March.
Dame Angela has also just finished work on the Disney film Mary Poppins Returns, in which she plays the Balloon Lady, a character from the original PL Travers books. She is best known to television viewers as Jessica Fletcher in the long-running television series, Murder, She Wrote, and was made a dame in 2014 for services to drama.
Her comments drew a strong response from Rape Crisis England & Wales, which said in a statement: “It is a deeply unhelpful myth that rape and other forms of sexual violence are caused or ‘provoked’ by women’s sexuality or ‘attractiveness’.