Angela Lansbury made controversial comments about sexual harassment and assault and people are NOT here for it. Check out some of the memes that have popped up in response to the actress saying women “must sometimes take blame.”
UPDATE: On NOv. 29, Angela released the following statement to HollywoodLife.com: “There is no excuse whatsoever for men to harass women in an abusive sexual manner. And, I am devastated that anyone should deem me capable of thinking otherwise. 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. 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.”
People are NOT happy with Angela Lansbury. The 92-year-old sparked widespread outrage when she made some controversial claims to British magazine Radio Times about there being “two sides to this coin” of sexual harassment. “We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that,” the actress said, as reported by The Telegraph. “Although it’s awful to say we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped.” If that sounds like victim blaming to you, you’re not alone. People took to Twitter to bash the actress for insinuating that women are in some way to blame for any sexual harassment or assaults that they might encounter. You can see some of the reactions below.
To make matters worse, that wasn’t the only comment Angela made on the subject. “We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive,” she said elsewhere in the interview. “And unfortunately it has backfired on us — and this is where we are today.” These statements clearly don’t take into account that women have been forced to “make themselves attractive” due to pressure from the patriarchy, aka the exact same thing that created rape culture — or that women having agency over how they present themselves to the world isn’t an open invitation for men to assault them. In a time where accusations of sexual assault and harassment are finally being taken seriously, it’s incredibly disappointing to hear other women make ill-advised comments that bring the blame back around to victims.
She did go on to say that women shouldn’t feel as if they have to prepare to be sexually harassed, but honestly these comments still don’t help her case. “Should women be prepared for this? No, they shouldn’t have to be. There’s no excuse for that,” she said. “And I think it will stop now — it will have to. I think a lot of men must be very worried at this point,” she added. But will the powerful men who are allegedly harassing women really stop if we continue to reinforce the idea that women are partially to blame for the way they’re treated? Hmm.
Thankfully, we aren’t alone in thinking that Angela’s comments missed the mark. One Twitter user posted a photo of the printed interview and simply captioned it, “Angela Lansbury is cancelled.” Another commented on the news with, “can’t even trust the teapot from beauty and the beast.” More memes popped up that referenced her other well-known roles in Murder, She Wrote and Gaslight. TBH, for someone who earned her first Oscar nomination for her role in the film that originally coined the popularized term “gaslighting” that we use to describe the abusive tactic that makes victims question their own experiences, it’s a pretty big let down to hear her voice this sort of opinion about sexual harassment and assault.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think about Angela’s comments? Do you agree with people’s reactions?