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Mayim Bialik responds to backlash over Harvey Weinstein scandal op-ed

The "Big Bang Theory" star said readers accusing her of victim-blaming misunderstood her.
/ Source: TODAY

Mayim Bialik is responding to the backlash over her recent New York Times op-ed about the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood.

In a Facebook Live video with New York Times editor Bari Weiss on Monday, the "Big Bang Theory" star said she never intended to imply victims of sexual assault could have prevented their attacks had they dressed "modestly" or behaved less "flirtatiously."

"It has become clear to me that there are people who think I either implied or overtly stated that you can be protected from assault from the clothing you wear or the behavior you exhibit," the 41-year-old actress said. "That is absolutely not what my intention was."

Mayim Bialik has come under fire after penning an op-ed about the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal that some readers felt blamed victims.Getty Images

The 25-minute live chat comes a day after Bialik first responded to the uproar caused by her Oct. 13 op-ed, tweeting, "I also see 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 behavior."

"Anyone who knows me and my feminism knows that's absurd and not at all what this piece was about," wrote the star.

Bialik penned the controversial piece after several Hollywood women accused disgraced Hollywood mogul Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including allegations of harassment and rape.

In it, she wrote that she came of age in Hollywood as a "prominent-nosed, awkward, geeky, Jewish 11-year-old," which kept her from being objectified by the industry's "powerful men."

Her parents never allowed her to wear makeup or get manicures, and they encouraged her to stand up for herself, wrote Bialik. "I followed my mother's strong example to not put up with anyone calling me 'baby' or demanding hugs on set."

As a woman, she wrote, she's continued making "wise" choices around her sexuality.

"I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly," Bialik wrote. "I don't act flirtatiously with men as a policy."

The op-ed sparked outrage among Bialik's fellow Hollywood stars and others who took to Twitter to accuse her of victim blaming.

During Monday's live chat, Bialik said she "regretted" that her piece caused such controversy.

"I was trying to speak about a very specific experience I had in a very specific industry," Bialik clarified. "I was not looking to speak about assault and rape in general."