Donna Karan Apologises For Defending Harvey Weinstein

On Sunday, Donna Karan attended the 4th Annual CinéFashion Film Awards in Los Angeles, where she was honoured with the Designer Icon Award for “her outstanding work as one of the most influential fashion designers in the world as a versatile innovator and pioneer designer in women’s wear and American fashion.”
During a red carpet interview, Karan took the opportunity to defend movie mogul Harvey Weinstein against allegations he sexually-harassed dozens of women over a span of decades. “I think we have to look at ourselves," she said. 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.”
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Though Weinstein was fired from his company earlier that day, Karan continued her defence: “How do we present ourselves as women?" she said. "What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality? And 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?”
While most of the fashion and entertainment industry has condemned Weinstein and his alleged abuse, including Lena Dunham, Meryl Streep, and Jessica Chastain, Karan doubled down on her claims, saying “I know his wife, I think they're wonderful people, Harvey has done some amazing things. I think we have to look at our world and what we want to say and how we want to say it as well.”
On Monday, just before midnight — and hours after her statements were met with outrage and derision on the internet — Karan’s public relations team issued the following apology: "Last night, I was honoured 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.”
The designer claims her “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.” Before signing off, she concluded, “I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”
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