Lena Dunham has apologized for defending Girls writer Murray Miller after he was accused of sexually assaulting an actress when the woman was 17.
The Girls creator, 31, was widely criticized on social media over the weekend after she released statements seemingly challenging actress Aurora Perrineau’s allegations against Miller, who Perrineau claims raped her in 2012.
Fans were outraged with Dunham’s dismissal of Perrineau’s account and expressed their disgust with her stance on the matter, prompting Dunham to release a new statement on Saturday, November 18, to apologize.
— 💎 Lena Dunham 💎 (@lenadunham) November 19, 2017
“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,” she tweeted.
“I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry,” the Lenny newsletter founder continued. “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 to 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 every feminist should be required to hear her. Under patriarchy, ‘I believe you’ is essential. Until we are all believed, none of us will be believed,” she added. “We apologize to any woman who have been disappointed.”
As previously reported, Dunham and Girls cocreator Jenni Konner shared a statement on Friday, November 17, in response to the allegations made against Miller. “During every time of change there are also incidences of the culture, in its enthusiasm and zeal, taking down the wrong targets. We believe, having worked closely with him for more than half a decade, that this is the case with Murray Miller,” the statement said. “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.”
The Not That Kind of Girl author also tweeted on Friday, “I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love.”
I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love.
— 💎 Lena Dunham 💎 (@lenadunham) November 17, 2017
Her apology may not be enough: Many social media users accused Dunham of backpedaling and only apologizing because of the criticism she received after her original statements.
One wrote, “This isn’t about ‘politics’ or ‘timing’ – this is about claiming the feminist label only when convenient.”
This isn’t about “politics” or “timing” – this is about claiming the feminist label only when convenient.
— maple leaf latinx (@daibyday) November 19, 2017
Two other Twitter users shared screenshots of multiple news headlines showing Dunham’s countless apologies, including joking about being molested in 2014 and comparing certain websites to domestic violence in 2015, among many others.
She can add it to this list of tonedeaf apologies pic.twitter.com/kX2pgkNyAB
— Leslie Lefkowitz (@hotmesslie) November 19, 2017
You could cross check with this one. pic.twitter.com/oqIrxxDrFU
— Jill W. Klausen✏🌹✊ (@jillwklausen) November 19, 2017
Another added, “@lenadunham you’re not apologising for yourself, you’re just sorry about the PR disaster. Hence the royal use of ‘we’ when it should be ‘me’ or ‘I’. If anything you’re making sure to ignore the victim.”
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