Megyn Kelly spoke out against designer Donna Karan on Tuesday, after the designer defended Harvey Weinstein,
Megyn Kelly spoke out against Donna Karan on Tuesday, after the designer defended Harvey Weinstein in the wake of multiple women alleging they were sexually harassed by the studio mogul.
Karan was asked about Weinstein at the CinéFashion Film Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, where she suggested that women may be "asking for it" by the way they dress.
“I think we have to look at ourselves," Karen said in a video published by the Daily Mail. "Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it’s been a hard time for women. To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but 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?"
Kelly opened her NBC show, Megyn Kelly TODAY, with her thoughts on Karan, and said she would never wear the designer's clothing again.
"Unfortunately, she [Karan] is not the only one who apparently thinks this way and it is wrong. It's seriously wrong," Kelly said. "Let's be perfectly clear right now. Women sometimes make bad fashion choices, including at the office. This does not invite their own harassment. Period. End of report. There are laws in this country. Laws. I don't give a damn if a woman shows up in a bikini to the office, that doesn’t invite or make it OK for her superior to harass her. It makes it OK for her boss to say, ‘Go home and change.’ That's it."
"The truth is, sexual harassment has nothing to do with wardrobe," she continued. "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 men as well -- like they are a bunch of animals who can’t behave themselves if a woman shows part of their thigh."
Kelly, 46, also spoke out against victim shaming.
"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," Kelly said. "They fear it. They know it's going to happen. How about we not pile on, Donna? How about we use this moment to encourage women to find their own voices, despite the risks and to stand up for themselves, which is hard enough, without rich, powerful, well-connected fashion moguls lecturing them on their clothing choices? And speak of fashion choices, here's one for you -- I’m done with Donna Karan.”
In a statement on Monday, 69-year-old Karan said her comments were "taken out of context."
"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," she said. "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," she continued. "I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim."
In Kelly's 2016 memoir, Settle for More, Kelly accused former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes -- who died in May -- of sexual harassment.
"Suffice it to say, he made sexual comments to me, offers of professional advancement in exchange for sexual favors," she wrote, according to The New York Times. "But I knew the reality of the situation. If I caused a stink, my career would likely be over.”
On Monday, Kelly interviewed television reporter Lauren Sivan, who said she was a victim of Weinstein's unwanted sexual advances. Meanwhile, Weinstein’s attorney, Charles Harder, issued a statement last week calling a Times report that the studio mogul reached at least eight settlements with women over sexual harassment claims spanning three decades “saturated with false and defamatory statements," and threatened to sue the paper.