Women could be asking for trouble in the provocative way they dress. That is apparently the contention of Donna Karan, the fashion designer who founded the iconic DKNY brand.
Karan’s comments defending Harvey Weinstein in this context have prompted a huge, ongoing backlash on Twitter.
Yesterday, Oscar-winning movie producer Weinstein was fired by The Weinstein Company, the firm that he founded with his brother Bob in 2005.
The termination follows a bombshell report in the New York Times containing accusations that he sexually harassed actresses and other women over three decades and allegedly entered into confidential financial settlements with eight of them. The alleged behavior by Weinstein was apparently an open secret in the film industry.
Celebrities have been slow out of the gate in disavowing Weinstein, although they seem to be more vocal now that he has been banished from the powerful production company.
Donna Karan, 69, offered this alternative take on the Weinstein scandal while being interviewed on the red carpet at the 4th annual CineFashion Film Awards yesterday in Los Angeles, where she received the Designer Icon Award.
Karan started out by noting that women are mistreated all over the world, the Daily Mail reported, and that the big picture, as it were, goes beyond Harvey Weinstein.
“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? ‘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? I don’t think it’s only Harvey Weinstein. I don’t think we’re only looking at him…I think he’s being looked at right now as a symbol, not necessarily as him…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.”
Karan added that the Weinsteins (Harvey and wife Georgina Chapman) are a wonderful couple and that Harvey “has done some amazing things.”
History has shown that the so-called casting couch in Hollywood did exist well before Harvey Weinstein came on the scene.
Parenthetically, the movie production firm is planning a name change as well as reportedly scrubbing the Harvey Weinstein executive producer credit from all upcoming projects.
Watch Donna Karan’s comments in the clip below and draw your own conclusions.
Harvey Weinstein is also a major donor, fundraiser, and bundler for the Democratic Party. Several politicians have now begun distancing themselves from the movie mogul, with some redirecting campaign contributions to charities. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have yet to issue statements about the scandal.
Given the social media outrage that has occurred following Donna Karan’s remarks, watch this space for updates to this story.
Do you think that Donna Karan is engaging in victim blaming in her defense of Harvey Weinstein?
UPDATE: In a statement condemning sexual harassment, Donna Karan insisted that her red carpet remarks about Harvey Weinstein were taken out of context and are not reflective of her true feelings, Fox News reported.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]