Back in November, we witnessed the backfire when Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner discredited the sexual assault allegations of another woman. And now, Judd Apatow is coming to Dunham’s defense. Last month, Dunham stood by Girls writer Murray Miller when actress Aurora Perrineau claimed that he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 years old.
“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,” Dunham and Konner said in a statement, according to Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
And then, the people spoke: Lena Dunham, your white feminism is showing. Isn’t it our duty to believe women? The backlash immediately came full throttle. Dunham and Konner apologized for defending Miller the next day in a joint public post on social media.
“I never thought I would issue a statement publically supporting someone accused of sexual assault, but I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend’s situation as it has transpired behind the scenes over the last few months,” reads part of the statement that Dunham tweeted. “I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry.”
Apatow, her longtime mentor and fellow Girls producer, offered his two cents to The Hollywood Reporter.
While Lena Dunham stuck her neck out for a male friend accused of sexual assault, Perrineau was dealing with the trauma of the alleged rape.
“He was on top of me having sexual intercourse with me. At no time did I consent to any sexual contact with Murray,” Perrineau stated in a police report filed in November, Cosmopolitan reports. A statement from Miller’s legal team followed, claiming Perrineau was trying to extort Miller for money. But they suspiciously retracted the claim on December 7th.
Perrineau is a warrior. It’s important that we support women when they come forward and speak about the darkness they’ve hid in fear of retaliation from the public and from the men who harmed them. Believing every woman is the glue we need to bond together in the face of oppression.