Lena Dunham apologized for defending a “Girls” writer accused of sexual assault
Lena Dunham is pretty good at digging herself into deep holes. Recently, Girls writer Murray Miller was accused of sexual assault. And on Friday, November 17th, Dunham and Girls co-creator Jenni Konner released a statement supporting him. Now, Dunham has apologized for coming to his defense.
The backlash came quickly. Dunham’s defense of Miller was upsetting, to say the least. After Dunham’s powerful response to the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, a lot of people expected more. Her apology came quickly — just the next day, on Saturday, November 18th.
Being friends with certain people in Hollywood is understandably hard right now. Expecting women to comment on every allegation is unfair and exhausting. Women in the industry (and everywhere) are often going to be friends with disappointing men. Men who have perpetuated rape culture, or worse. We have all been left disappointed, hurt, and shocked by revelations about men we once loved. It’s hard. It sucks.
But it is our duty to believe women, which is something Dunham has preached countless times before.
Since Dunham chose to quickly defend her pal Miller, her apology was necessary. She took to Twitter to post screenshots from her Notes app. Her words leaned heavily into her feminism.
“As feminists, we live and die by our politics, and believing women is the first choice we make every single day when we wake up. Therefore 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. I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry.”
Dunham presumably spoke for both herself and Konner.
“We have been given the gift of powerful voices and by speaking out we were putting our thumb on the scale and it was wrong. We regret this decision with every fiber of our being. 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. Every person and feminist should be required to hear her.”
She concluded by emphasizing how important it is to believe women.
“Under patriarchy, “I believe you” is essential. Until we are all believed, none of us will be believed. We apologize to any women who have been disappointed.”
For many, Dunham’s is a non-apology.
Dunham’s words are hard to take in, considering she should probably know better at this point. Sexual assault is no joke. It sucks when a friend is accused of assault. It is even more heartbreaking for the survivor. As an outspoken feminist, Dunham should know this. As a public figure, Dunham should do better. At least an apology is a start.
Twitter has expressed its distaste for Dunham’s initial reaction, as well as her apology.
But at least we have this.