The digital newsletter Lenny Letter, once home to essays by Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o, and Troian Bellisario, has officially shut down. Founders Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner (her producing partner on Girls and Camping) confirmed the news Friday morning through a goodbye letter to fans — the final Lenny Letter.
“In the three years since we began, the Internet has opened up for underrepresented writers in ways we wouldn’t have predicted or believed from our 2015 bunker,” the note reads. “It was an honor to be part of that brigade, and we can’t wait to see how those who forged that path keep holding space after Lenny is gone.
“While there’s no one reason for our closure, this change allows for growth and a shift in perspectives — ours and yours. But can we ask one favor? Please, continue to push forward the voices that need a platform, the untold stories that deserve to be heard, the diversity that the publishing industry claims to value but has never mastered.”
Dunham tweeted separately without explicitly mentioning the closure. Instead, she wrote, “Change is the only way we learn and the only way we stay in touch with our capacity for joy. I am celebrating every aspect of it today, even the ones that hurt (Literally: holes on the body. Figuratively: holes in the heart.)”
Digiday was the first to report the news on Thursday, noting contributors had been informed a week prior to the shutdown.
The start-up, which began in 2015 to serve the “army of like-minded intellectually curious women and the people who love them,” faced a controversy in 2017 when contributor Zinzi Clemmons publicly left the newsletter, citing Dunham’s racism and her response to rape accusations against Murray Miller, Dunham’s friend and colleague on Girls. Dunham had already retracted her controversial statement supporting Miller and wrote, “I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry.”
This past March, Lenny Letter partnered with Glamour to produce a seven-part political fiction series called Daughter, First.
“Thank you for letting us hitch our apple wagon to your star,” the farewell letter now reads. “We trust that Lenny’s mission to amplify unheard voices and the complexities of the female experience will roar even louder inside (and outside) each of you. We’ll be keeping our ears to the shell for the sound of your plans in action.”