Dame Angela Lansbury says she is “troubled” and “devastated” that comments she made about sexual harassment were taken “out of context”.
She spoke following a backlash after a Radio Times interview this week.
The actress was criticised for reportedly saying “making themselves attractive” had “backfired” for women and they must “sometimes take blame”.
Dame Angela has now said: “There is no excuse whatsoever for men to harass women in an abusive sexual manner.”
‘Strong supporter of women’s rights’
The Murder, She Wrote and Beauty and the Beast star, 92, went on to say in her new statement: “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.”
Dame Angela, starring as Aunt March in the BBC’s upcoming adaptation of Little Women, was criticised after the Radio Times interview was published.
Speaking in the light of recent claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour in Hollywood, she had said in the interview: “It’s awful to say we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped.
“Should women be prepared for this? No, they shouldn’t have to be! There’s no excuse for that.”
She also said: “I think it will stop now – it will have to. I think a lot of men must be very worried at this point.”