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Lena Dunham in Harper's Bazaar: She was 'put to bed for weeks' over negative Internet comments

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Nathaniel Goldberg

Lena Dunham says the negative comments written about her on “sites that used to be considered feminist gospel” left her in a state of unrest.

“I’ve been put to bed for weeks from reading things about myself,” Dunham told Harper’s Bazaar for their November issue. “I love the Internet because it helped me discover everything that matters to me. But I also hate the Internet because every piece of true pain I’ve experienced as an adult — with the exception of death in the family and breakups — has come from it.”

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Dunham did not mention what websites she was referring to, but the 29-year-old has frequently discussed her issues with online behavior. In an interview last month, the Girls creator and star said she no longer reads Twitter.

“It really truly wasn’t a safe space for me,” she said. “I think even if you think you can separate yourself from the kind of verbal violence that’s being directed at you, that it creates some really kind of cancerous stuff inside you. Even if you think, ‘Oh, I can read like 10 mentions that say I should be stoned to death,’ and kind of laugh and move on. That’s verbal abuse. Those aren’t words you’d accept in an interpersonal relationship. And those aren’t words that should be directed to you, ever. For me, personally, it was safer to stop.”

Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, Dunham said that creating a safe space online for all young women was one of the goals she had with Lenny, the newsletter Dunham launched with Girls executive producer Jenni Konner last month.

“Celebrities can complain all they want about how cruel Twitter is, but we signed up for it. Who didn’t sign up for it are the teenage girls who bully each other to suicide using Twitter,” Dunham said. “There’s no shortage of stories of how Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, these incredible tools for self-expression, have also led to girls feeling ostracized, alone, slut-shamed. We just want to restore some semblance to safety.”

Nathaniel Goldberg

For more from Dunham, head to Harper’s Bazaar.