Donna Karan Offers, then Pulls Support for Harvey Weinstein

Donna Karan Offers, then Pulls Support for Harvey Weinstein

The designer recanted her inflammatory comments at the CineFilm Fashion Awards defending Harvey Weinstein.

The designer recanted her inflammatory comments at the CineFilm Fashion Awards defending Harvey Weinstein.

Text: Sadie Bell

Last week, news surfaced in an exposé from the New York Times that film producer and Hollywood studio executive Harvey Weinstein had been paying off accusers of sexual harassment for several decades. While many stars and names in the film industry came to the support of the alleged victims, others who have worked with Weinstein either have yet to speak up or have come to his support, like fashion designer Donna Karan.

At Sunday's CineFashion Film Awards, when asked about the accusations, Karan criticized the way women present themselves, rather than Weinstein and his actions. "I think we have to look at ourselves," Karan said. "What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?"

She added that "the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified ... you look at everything all over the world today, how women are dressing and what they’re asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”

Her comments were deemed as inappropriate and ignoring the accountability of Weinstein, and denounced on social media by many, including one of his accusers, actress Rose McGowan.

Following the amount of backlash after her comments surfaced, Karan, who is no longer the chief designer of DKNY, apologized on Monday, Oct. 9 for her statement and said her words were "taken out of context."

Karan said, "My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein. 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,” she said.

Read Donna Karan's full statement below.

“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. 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.

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.”

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