Oh no, Donna Karan. This is not the way.
Allegations of Harvey Weinsteins decades of sexual harassment have been exposed, and it looks like that’s just the beginning. He’s been condemned by people who once considered him a friend, including living legends like Meryl Streep.
Donna Karan has spoken out in his defense, however … in the worst possible way.
For years, Harvey Weinstein has been dogged by the occasional rumor of sexual harassment. One of the rumored victims is Ashley Judd, and we knew that years ago.
Well, after the New York Times published a massive expose that alleged a wildly disturbing pattern of sexual harassment, in which Weinstein allegedly promised to boost women’s careers if they did as he asked — and, in some accusations, he didn’t even ask — it looks like the cat is out of the bag.
Harvey has issued a weak-ass apology.
“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.”
Yeah, that is literally no excuse. You’re an adult. Even if this were the 1500s, the time period wouldn’t be an excuse. At best, it would be an explanation.”
“I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office — or out of it. To anyone. I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.”
“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment.”
The general public reaction has been that this is too little, too late.
But Donna Karan, legendary designer and friend of Weinstein’s, was asked while on the red carpet and she gave quite an answer.
“I think we have to look at ourselves. Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified.”
“Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it’s been a hard time for women.”
Women have a hard time everywhere, but that’s a great way to plug your own humanitarian work.
“To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women?”
“What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?”
The short answer is: no.
The longer reply is: what the hell is wrong with you?
No one ever ‘asks for it.” You could walk down the street naked and no one would have the right to touch you. (Well, police might arrest you, but other than that)
“And what are we throwing out to our children today about how to dance and how to perform and what to wear? How much should they show?”
If an adult is sexualizing a child, that is 100% on the adult. Obviously.
“You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”
Women who wear clothing aren’t asking for trouble, Donna Karan.
But women who say idiotic things that blame victims of sexual harassment sure are.
She’s been blasted for these comments on Twitter, by the general public and by major celebrities.
Donna Karan is aware of the backlash and issued a statement via JustJared:
“Last night, I was honored at the Cinemoi Fashion Film Awards in Hollywood and while answering a question on the red carpet I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe.”
“I have spent my life championing women.”
We have to wonder how in the world one accidentally slips up and says that.
You can say the wrong name or get something else wrong, sure, but rambling on about how sexual harassment is the victim’s fault for being so darn irresistible is … not an accident.
“My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights.”
“My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein.”
Ugh, the old “taken out of context” line. Which makes the whole apology just about worthless.
“I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual. I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”
If she had said just this last part, it would have been better.
We don’t know if Donna Karan’s apology will be accepted, particularly given that she tries to throw up the “taken out of context” excuse.
There are real quotes that are taken out of context, but unless Donna Karen actually said “the worst thing that a person could say is,” before she said what she said, what context could possibly make what she said okay?
To make matters worse, following that initial New York Times expose, the New Yorker has come out with horror stories from a few of Weinstein’s accusers.
We’re not longer just talking about allegations of sexual harassment, though that alone is unacceptable.
When it comes to Harvey Weinstein, we’re now talking about accusations of sexual assault.