In a recent interview with Britain’s Radio Times, Angela Lansbury offered her thoughts on Hollywood’s ongoing reckoning with sexual harassment and assault. Unfortunately, one of those thoughts was: “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 internet backlash to her comments was, of course, swift and heated. Now, in a new statement issued Wednesday night, the Murder, She Wrote actress seeks to both explicate her stance on sexual misconduct, and admonish those who would rush to judge her.
“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,” Lansbury says in her statement. “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.” Adds Lansbury, “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.” In the same Radio Times interview, the actress also stated that women should not be expected to be “prepared” for harassment, a pernicious societal problem for which there is “no excuse.” Said Lansbury at the time, “I think it will stop now — it will have to.”