Sexual harassment: Angela Lansbury says women’s efforts to look attractive 'has backfired'

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A model has her makeup done backstage before presenting the Vena Cava Fall 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week February 11, 2010.
A model has her makeup done backstage before presenting the Vena Cava Fall 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week February 11, 2010. Reuters

Angela Lansbury has suggested that women must also be held accountable in instances of harassment amid allegations of sexual assault in Hollywood. She believes some women are to some degree responsible.

In an interview with Radio Times, Lansbury argued that there are two sides of the coin. “We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive,” the 92-year-old said. “We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that,” she added in the interview published on Tuesday.

The “Murder” actress recognised though that it was awful to say women could not make themselves as attractive as possible without being raped. She does not think harassment is exculpatory. She said she believes harassment will stop now and it has to.

The veteran actress, who is starring in the BBC1 adaptation of “Little Women” this Christmas, maintained that she did not have to face harassment or abuse from male executives.

Lansbury’s comments drew various reactions on social media. Some have been quick to share their opinion on the issue.

Among them was American actress Patricia Arquette. On Tuesday, she pointed out that when Lansbury blames sexual assaults on victims being too attractive, “she needs a reminder 3 month old raped.”

Arquette added that it does not matter how young or old a woman is, or how beautiful or homely she is. She continued to say that rapists rape, and that’s the “end of story.”

Last month, The New York Times published reports of decades of alleged sexual harassment and assault by producer Harvey Weinstein. Since then, a number of women have come forward with similar claims against him.

Women have accused the movie mogul of unsuitable to criminal behaviour. Complaints range from sexual advances and rape. Among them was an Italian actress who told The New Yorker that in 1997, Weinstein asked for a massage and forcibly performed oral sex on her. Another woman accused Weinstein of offering her alcohol during their first meeting when she was just a teenager.

The allegations were denied by Weinstein. His spokeswoman Holly Baird told USA Today that any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally being denied.