Lena Dunham Responds to Jezebel's Unretouched Vogue Photos
It was a "monumental error in their approach to feminism," said the "Girls" actress, commenting on the "feminist" website's intentions in a recent interview.
"That was messed up," Dunham told Simmons, expressing frustration with seeing Jezebel editor-in-chief Jessica Coen's articles. Unlike her Girls' character, Hannah — who showed satirical support for the proclaimed feminist site in this season's "Dead Inside" episode, calling it "a place where feminists can go to support one another, which we need in this modern world of slut-shaming" — Dunham no longer reveres the website as much as she used to. "I think Jezebel can be really smart and funny. I think it's just, like, once you've been attacked in that way it's hard to enjoy. It's hard to enjoy once you feel like they've made such a kind of monumental error in their approach to feminism," she said.
Less than 24 hours after making its $10,000 offer to whomever would turn over unretouched versions of Dunham's Vogue images, the Gawker-affiliated site received the unedited photos and scrutinized every alteration.
The TV star was confused by Coen's intentions (as were many readers), considering that the unedited photos didn't differ that much from the photoshopped versions.
"For me it was just sort of — I can't be half-in. It felt gross," said Dunham. "I can't imagine the reaction made her feel particularly great … once they did post the unretouched images of me that looked so similar.… It was the most minimal retouching. I felt completely respected by Vogue. I felt, like, 'Thank you for removing the one line from my face because I'm 27 years old and I shouldn't have that line there and I appreciate this.' "
Dunham was most disappointed by the fact that Jezebel wouldn't take ownership of the situation, saying: "Instead of going, like, 'Hey, we kind of f---ed up. These images are not that retouched. Lena, enjoy the Vogue spread that you've been excited about since you were 8 years old.' They were like, 'She's not retouched, but she could've been.' It was this weird, almost, like, political maneuvering that I had trouble respecting."
Watch Dunham's entire interview (or fast forward to 52:15 to hear her comments on Jezebel) below.