Lena Dunham tries to apologize for defending man accused of rape — but it backfires big time

Lena Dunham tries to apologize for defending man accused of rape — but it backfires big time
Lena Dunham was forced to apologize after she didn't defend a woman accusing one of her friends of sexual assault — but it didn't go over too well. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Lena Dunham came under fire on Friday after she defended one of the writers for her HBO show “Girls,” who was recently accused by a Hollywood actress of rape. Now, the feminist comedian is quickly backtracking.

What happened?

Dunham was criticized after she defended her friend, writer Murray Miller. Actress Aurora Perrineau recently accused Miller of raping her when she was a minor; she is now 23.

Dunham said in a statement on Friday:

While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3 percent of assault cases that are misreported every year.

It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.

How well did that go over?

But Dunham, being the outspoken liberal that she is, was quickly raked over the coals for questioning the legitimacy of the rape accusations. After all, it was Dunham who said in August that all women who wage accusations of sexual misconduct should be believed:

That criticism that followed Dunham’s statement forced her to backtrack, so she issued a statement on Saturday apologizing for denying Perrineau’s claims.

Dunham said: “I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend’s situation. I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry.”

“Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely, and our relationship to the accused should not be part of the calculation anyone makes when examining her case,” she added. “We apologize to any woman who have been disappointed.”

How well did the apology go over?

Not so well. Dunham’s apology garnered responses from more than 2,000 people, most of whom lashed out at Dunham for failing to uphold her identity as a feminist. Others chided Dunham for not apologizing directly to Perrineau.

What else happened?

A writer for Dunham’s newsletter announced on Twitter Sunday that she was separating herself from Dunham.

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