Angela Lansbury: women ‘must sometimes take blame’ for sexual assault

Actress Angela Lansbury attends a special screening and panel discussion of "Beauty and the Beast" (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Dame Angela Lansbury has come under fire for comments she made during an interview with British magazine Radio Times suggesting that women “must sometimes take blame” for sexual assault.

The 92-year-old actress suggested that women’s desire to be attractive is partially to blame for sexual misconduct they may face.

“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,” Lansbury said.

“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 ‘Murder She Wrote’ actress went on to say that she does not necessarily blame the victims of sexual assault.

“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,” Lansbury added.

Nevertheless, her comments were not well received in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that has put sexual misconduct in Hollywood and other industries in the spotlight.

National charity Rape Crisis England & Wales has strongly condemned Lansbury’s comments. “It is a deeply unhelpful myth that rape and other forms of sexual violence are caused or ‘provoked’ by women’s sexuality or ‘attractiveness,'” they said in a statement.