The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik has apologised after she was accused of “victim blaming” for an article she wrote in response to the accusations of rape and sexual assault aimed at shamed Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
The actress, who portrays Amy in the hugely popular CBS sitcom, faced criticism online after she appearing to suggest that her choice to “dress modestly” was “self protecting and wise”.
“I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise. I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy”, she wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times.
Actress Patricia Arquette was among the leading voices who criticised Bialik’s essay, and claimed that her comments would not have prevented her own experiences of sexual assault. “I have to say I was dressed non provocatively at 12 walking home from school when men masturbated at me. It’s not the clothes”, the Oscar winner wrote on Twitter. “It is also not outrageous for anyone to expected to be treated in a professional matter by anyone in a professional relationship.”
Bialik has now issued a public apology, saying she is “very sorry” and stating that victims are “never responsible for being assaulted”. She added: “I am truly sorry for causing so much pain, and I hope you can all forgive me.” See her statement in full beneath.
— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) October 18, 2017
Bialik had previously responded to the backlash by claiming that her words had been “twisted” out of context. “A bunch of people have taken my words out of the context of the Hollywood machine and twisted them to imply that God forbid I would blame a woman for her assault based on her clothing or her behaviour”, she said on Twitter, adding: “Anyone who knows me and my feminism knows that’s absurd and not at all what this piece was about”.
Film producer Harvey Weinstein has made headlines in recent weeks after being accused of rape, sexual harassment and other forms of misconduct by numerous women, allegations that he “unequivocally denies”.