Over the weekend, a writer from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s Lenny Letter publicly left the popular newsletter, citing Dunham’s racism and response to rape accusations against her friend and co-worker Murray Miller.
“It is time for women of color — black women in particular — to divest from Lena Dunham,” writer Zinzi Clemmons tweeted. In a long post that followed, the What We Lose writer claims that Dunham and her friends (including Girls co-star Jemima Kirke), whom the author has known since their college years, have been notorious for “their well-known racism.” She adds, “I’d call their strain ‘hipster racism,’ which typically uses sarcasm as a cover, and in the end, it looks a lot like gaslighting — ‘It’s just a joke. Why are you overreacting?'”
She also writes that “in Lena’s circles,” one woman had been “known to use the N word in conversation in order to be provocative, and if she was ever called on it, she would say ‘it’s just a joke.’ I was often in the same room with her, but I never spoke to her, only watched her from far in anxiety and horror.”
Read Clemmons’ full statement here:
Clemmons’ exit from Lenny came in the middle of a weekend of controversy for Dunham and Konner, during which the two showrunners and Lenny editors released a statement after actress Aurora Perrineau accused Girls writer Murray Miller of rape in 2012 when she was 17. The duo stated that having “worked closely” with Miller, they concluded that he did not rape Perrineau, saying that hers is “one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year.” After receiving swift backlash, Dunham retracted her statement, writing “I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry.”