Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik has responded to backlash to an editorial she penned about sexual harassment in the wake of allegations of assault and harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
The actress wrote an op-ed titled Being Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World, which was published by the New York Timeson Friday. In it, she discussed how she had not experienced being invited to hotel rooms by powerful industry executives -- something several actresses have alleged Weinstein did before acting inappropriately with them.
“Those of us in Hollywood who don’t represent an impossible standard of beauty have the ‘luxury’ of being overlooked and, in many cases, ignored by men of power unless we can make them money,” she explained.
She then noted that she has never condoned anyone calling her “baby” or wanting hugs on set, and that she makes choices about her clothing and behavior to make herself less prone to harassment.
“I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise,” she wrote. “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.”
However, the piece attracted some criticism, with readers accusing Bialik of implying that women may be to blame for being harassed because of the way they dress.
“I have to say I was dressed non provocatively as a 12 year old when men on the street masturbated at me,” actress Patricia Arquette responded to Bialik. “It's not clothing.”
@missmayim229 I have to say I was dressed non provocatively as a 12 year old when men on the street masturbated at me. It's not clothing.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday, she explained that her words had been taken out of context by some readers.
“I’m being told that my N.Y. Times piece resonated with so many and I am beyond grateful for all the feedback,” she wrote. “I also see a bunch of people have taken my words out of 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 behavior.”
“Anyone who knows me and my feminism know that’s absurd and not at all what this piece was about,” she continued. “It’s so sad how vicious people are being when I basically live to make things better for women.”
Bialik also announced that she will be doing a Facebook live session with the New York Times on Monday to discuss the matter further.