With the recent flood of sexual misconduct allegations in Hollywood, many celebrities are voicing their opinions on sexual assault, harassment, and the toxic masculinity that keeps those issues in place. British actress Angela Lansbury added her voice to the conversation in an interview with Britain’s Radio Times on November 28th, and many are — understandably — unhappy with what she had to say.
However, Lansbury did go on to say that there is no excuse for sexual assault or harassment.
“Should women be prepared for this? No, they shouldn’t have to be,” she said. “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.”
Nevertheless, the internet was outraged by the victim-blaming implications in Lansbury’s comments. Some chalked her words up to being from a “different generation.” But, as many Twitter users pointed out, age is no excuse for blaming women for abuse perpetrated by men.
One user even noted the irony of the fact that Lansbury starred in the 1944 movie Gaslight — which literally coined the term “gaslighting” (aka the act of making someone think they are crazy or to blame when they’re really innocent).
Let’s be clear: Abuse is never the victim’s fault. Far too many women — and men — believe they are somehow to blame for getting sexually assaulted or harassed, and it’s a tool sexual predators use to their advantage. This should be a critical reminder to take the focus off of what a victim was wearing at the time of her assault, and onto the actions of her abuser.