Fashion designer walks back controversial statement about women 'asking for it'
Fashion designer Donna Karan is attempting to patch up her controversial comments on the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
In a statement issued Tuesday to the Associated Press, Karan said her response to a reporter’s question about the sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein was taken out of context Sunday night at the Cinemoi Fashion Film Awards in Hollywood, and is not representative of how she feels about the movie distribution mogul’s ongoing controversy.
“I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe,” the statement reads. “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.”
The Daily Mail recorded Karan’s conversation with a journalist on the red carpet at the Los Angeles event.
“I think we have to look at ourselves… To see [women struggling] 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 of the sensuality and all of the sexuality?” she said when prompted to speak on Weinstein. “What are we throwing out to our children today? [We’re telling them] how to dance and how to perform and what to wear. How much should they show? I don’t think it’s only Harvey Weinstein. I don’t think we’re only looking at him; I think we’re looking at a world much deeper than that. He’s being looked at right now as a symbol, not necessarily as him.”
She continued: “I know his wife [Marchesa co-founder Georgina Chapman], I think they’re wonderful people… I think we have to look at our world and what we want to say and how we want to say it as well. It’s not Harvey Weinstein, you look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they’re asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”
News of accusations against Weinstein broke after an Oct. 5 New York Times exposé alleged that he had a three-decade history of harassment throughout his career in Hollywood. Multiple celebrities –including Lena Dunham, Meryl Streep, and Jessica Chastain — have spoken out against Weinstein in recent days, and on Sunday he was fired from his position at The Weinstein Company by its board of directors. In a statement to the Times, Weinstein apologized for “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past,” quoted Jay-Z’s album 4:44 via indicating his intent to “to learn about myself and conquer my demons,” and pledged to channel his energy to fighting the NRA.
A representative for Karan did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.