Angela Lansbury's opinion on the victim's role in sexual harassment has put the 92-year-old in hot water with fans.
The Murder, She Wrote actress told Radio Times that women must "sometimes take
“There are two sides to this coin,” she said. “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."
“We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that," she added. "Although it’s awful to say we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped.”
Lansbury's controversial comments come on the heels of dozens of sexual assault allegations against Hollywood heavyweights, including film producer Harvey Weinstein, actors Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Piven and others.
But to round out her comments, the Beauty and the Beast actress said she never suffered any kind of harassment during her career and that individual women were not to blame for what they may have endured.
"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."
Lansbury's take on the hot-button issue didn't go over well with many fans, while others rushed to offer support or clarification on the distinguished entertainer's comments.
Check out the variety of heated reactions below.
Criticism of Lansbury's comments:
Many Twitter users used their voices to blast the elderly actress for her opinion, accusing her of "victim blaming" rather than pointing fingers at predators.
They also tackled head-on the defense that Lansbury — who lived through decades of social progression — was raised in a "different generation."
"I'm from a different generation" is a euphemism for "I lived through decades and decades of social progress and haven't learned a damn thing... #AngelaLansbury— Johnny McVey ? (@mrjohnnymac18) November 28, 2017
Angela Lansbury’s comments show an attitude that does real harm. But most of all I feel very sad for her and all the other women who have lived by these rules and placed blame at their own door and I think reactions should contain compassion and reflection on generational change.— Laura Waddell (@lauraewaddell) November 28, 2017
Others pointed out that Lansbury's role in the 1944 film Gaslight brought the term "gaslighting" into the modern vocabulary.
Gaslighting is known as a form of manipulation that aims to fill others' minds with doubt, leaving them to question their own memory or perception. In this case, critics claim Lansbury is placing blames on victims, which may cause them to wonder if they were, in fact, to blame for any suffering they endured.
Fun fact: Angela Lansbury earned an Oscar nom playing Nancy, the young maid who was manipulated by Gregory & turned against Paula in the movie, “Gaslight,” from which the popular term “gaslighting” comes! Seems apt? https://t.co/HBPkokVwfT— Caissie St.Onge (@Caissie) November 28, 2017
Angela Lansbury, star of the 1944 version of Gaslight, which gave us the term ‘Gaslighting’, has just declared that attractive women share the blame for sexual harassment. pic.twitter.com/x3ruL22cIR— Dr Fern Riddell (@FernRiddell) November 28, 2017
Some were afraid to see Lansbury's name trending on Twitter, worried that she'd followed stars like Della Reese in death this year. Instead, they were arguably more upset at what they saw.
*sees Angela Lansbury is trending*
"OH NO SHE BETTER NOT BE DEAD"
"oh wait it's worse" https://t.co/zJJVhE2MUm— Olly Smith (@OllyWrites) November 28, 2017
"Oh no! Angela Lansbury is trending. I hope she's not..." pic.twitter.com/yAcBSbw9Qb— Mark Lankester (@markrlankester) November 28, 2017
'Murder, She Wrote' parallels:
As lead character Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote, Lansbury played a mystery author-turned-amateur detective who solved crimes in Maine.
Some users pointed out that the drama, which aired from 1984-1996, would've been much different had Fletcher shared the same views as the actress who portrayed her.
Murder She Wrote would have been quite a different show if in each episode Angela Lansbury blamed the victim.— StanHengen (@StanHengen) November 28, 2017
*Murder she wrote opening theme plays*
Angela Lansbury: *looks at murdered woman* she was wearing a skirt. It’s her fault. Case closed. Everybody go home.
*Murder she wrote end theme plays*— DorothyBillowy? (@hingit83) November 28, 2017
Unaired Murder She Wrote ending:
Murderer: I did it. I murdered her.
Angela Lansbury: Well, look how she was dressed. You are both to blame.— amber ruffin (@ambermruffin) November 28, 2017
Others used her role as Fletcher to defend her opinion, pulling footage from the show.
Dame Angela Lansbury suggests things are not always black and white. Perhaps women who go out of their way to look attractive to men might bear some responsibility for attention they get from men.
Immediately accused of being a victim shaming, rape apologist with dementia... pic.twitter.com/LZGVfGXQoA— T J Smith (@TEZofAllTrades) November 28, 2017
And some, who appreciate Lansbury's decades of contributions to the entertainment industry, just want to give the elderly woman a pass.
Let's do international treasure Angela Lansbury the very great favour of ignoring her on this one.— Helen O'Hara (@HelenLOHara) November 28, 2017
Defense of Lansbury:
And some, whether they agreed with the actress' opinion or not, came to Lansbury's defense. Many cited her age as a reason to let her comments slide.
Angela Lansbury is 92 years old. Getting mad at her on twitter because she doesn't have the most modern ideas about sexual harassment is pointless and kind of dumb.— Tom & Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) November 28, 2017
Some fans were confused why Lansbury's personal opinion was being questioned at all. They claimed that her 92 years of life experience helped her to form her take on the controversial issue and that others shouldn't try to force her to conform, or slam her for speaking out.
Angela Lansbury has based her views on experience and the world she has lived in over the past 92 years. This is her right. I don’t agree with her, but that’s the problem with opinions and experience, we’re all different. I don’t agree with berating old ladies, but there you go.— Dazy Graves (@Missdazygraves) November 28, 2017
Sad to see Angela Lansbury being hounded for *expressing an opinion*. Seems all women are now expected to stick to the same script.— Joanna Williams (@jowilliams293) November 28, 2017
One user pointed out the controversial nature of the questions Lansbury was likely asked to elicit her response. He claimed that the media asked an "old lady" to comment on an issue like the mounting allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding modern culture, only to throw her "under the bus" under the guise of news.
HOW TO MAKE NEWS ON A SLOW NEWS DAY:— Craig Stone (@craigstone_) November 28, 2017
 Find old lady. Angela Lansbury will do.
 Ask old lady to comment on a subject she can only be out of touch with.
 Find bus.
 Throw old lady under bus.
Lansbury has not responded to the criticism she has received following her initial interview.prev