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.
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:
Things women do lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don't lie about: rape.
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) August 4, 2017
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.”
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) November 19, 2017
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.
This isn't about "politics" or "timing" – this is about claiming the feminist label only when convenient.
— maple leaf latinx (@daibyday) November 19, 2017
You are one of the reasons women do not come forward. Because they have to hear shit like this from people like you who should know better. You only apologized because you were caught.
— Stephanie (@socalsteph_) November 19, 2017
Lena, what’s her name again? The woman you disparaged?
Her name is missing from this.
— Kelly Wickham Hurst (@mochamomma) November 19, 2017
You have a long history of NOT listening to women, especially WOC. Coming out against sex work decriminalization, for example? You're only a "feminist" when it's convenient for your personal brand.
— Molly Hodgdon (@Manglewood) November 19, 2017
So ashamed of you. Stop speaking and learn to listen.
— Jennifer Grimm (@jennifer__grimm) November 19, 2017
when are feminists actually going to stop letting Dunham use feminism as a shield for her personal failures? Shaming victims is not feminism. Using feminism to protect your brand, is not feminism. Saying we have to unite after YOU made a mistake doesn’t help anyone
— Shannon (@captshaninspace) November 19, 2017
— Adam Hennessey (@9_Hendo) November 19, 2017
Delete your account
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) November 19, 2017
kl, what about apologising to THE woman you have dissappointed? her name is Aurora Perrineau and you threw her under the bus yesterday along with your narrow and malleable idea of feminism
— Anna Shaffer (@anna_shaffer) November 19, 2017
She can add it to this list of tonedeaf apologies pic.twitter.com/kX2pgkNyAB
— Leslie Lefkowitz (@hotmesslie) November 19, 2017
What else happened?
A writer for Dunham’s newsletter announced on Twitter Sunday that she was separating herself from Dunham.
It is time for women of color–black women in particular–to divest from Lena Dunham. pic.twitter.com/dxOWCLhTpA
— zinziclemmons (@zinziclemmons) November 19, 2017