Fashion designer Donna Karan found herself in hot water earlier this week, after commenting on the recent Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Last Thursday, when The New York Times published an article bluntly titled, “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers For Decades,” Hollywood was immediately sent into a tailspin. Since its publication, Weinstein, a once prolific film producer and studio exec, has been fired from the Weinstein Company, denounced by former colleagues and industry insiders, and left by his wife, Georgina Chapman.
DKNY's Donna Karan Comments On Weinstein Scandal
When asked to comment, DKNY creator Donna Karan gave the Daily Mail a jarring response:
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?
The designer received backlash for the remarks, which seemed to insinuate that Weinstein’s behavior was not solely his fault, and that the victims were partly to blame.
Donna Karan's Comments Receive Backlash
Actress Rose McGowan, who has been particularly vocal in light of the exposed harassment charges, condemned Karan as “deplorable,” and part of the problem:
Donna Karan you are a DEPLORABLE Aiding and abetting is a moral crime. You are scum in a fancy dress pic.twitter.com/Vze7lnpdvj— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 10, 2017
Chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain also lashed out at the designer:
Comments Were "Taken Out Of Context," Says Karan
Karan has since apologized for the comments, claiming that they were taken out of context. She explained, “I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe.” She added that she spent her life “championing women,” dedicating her career to “dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them.”
As part of her apology, Karan also addressed that idea of victim-shaming, a descriptor many had applied to her initial comments. “I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable,” Karan said, “and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual.”