Despite not surprising the president and being an open secret in Hollywood, the allegations of decades of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein have still rocked the entertainment world as more women speak out against the culture (and men who remain silent) that emboldens people like Weinstein. However, it wouldn’t be a scandal involving abuses of power without some victim blaming disguised as defending the perpetrator, although it was surprising that fashion designer Donna Karan was the one doing it.
During an interview at an award show, Karan was asked about the allegations and it did not go well:
“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?’ 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.”
After being roundly criticized, the DKNY creator issued a short apology, but the damage might already be done.
On Megyn Kelly Today (video above), the host, who has her own very public history of dealing with sexual harassment, spent roughly five minutes discussing Karan’s comments and did not mince words.
“The truth is, sexual harassment has nothing to do with wardrobe. It has to do with power and control and sexual proclivities that a superior chooses not to reign in. How insulting, by the way to man, as well. Like they are a bunch of animals who can’t behave themselves if a woman shows part of their thigh. Right? This attitude of blaming women for their own harassment is actually one of the reasons why women choose not to come forward after they get harassed because they fear victim shaming. They fear it. They know it’s going to happen.”
Kelly then pointed out how it is hard enough for women to come forward without powerful women piling on and announcing that she was “done” wearing DKNY clothing. “And speaking of fashion choices, here’s one for you: I’m done with Donna Karan,” Kelly said.
Kelly finished the segment by inviting Karan onto the show to discuss her comments with more depth. Stay tuned.