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A writer for Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s Lenny Letter has accused the former of “hipster racism” in a lengthy statement posted on Twitter. She also announced she’s exiting the publication.
“It is time for women of color — black women in particular — to divest from Lena Dunham,” Zinzi Clemmons tweeted, followed by a long statement in which she revealed that she has known Dunham since the two “ran in the same circles in college.” She said they had mutual acquaintances.
“Back in college, I avoided those people like the plague because of their well-known racism,” she wrote. “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?’ is a comment response to these kinds of statements.”
She claimed that one female “in Lena’s circles” was “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.”
Clemmons said she’s decided to leave Lenny Letter after Dunham expressed her support for Girls writer Murray Miller, who was accused of sexual assault by actress Aurora Perrineau.
Clemmons also wrote that “one of my best friends was victimized in almost the exact same way by someone in Lena’s circle. It was never addressed, and he continues to move in those circles and has a powerful job.”
“Let’s hold Lena accountable, and to me that means sacrificing some comfort and a little bit of cash, in this moment,” she added.
On Friday, after the claims against Miller were made public, Dunham took to Twitter to support him on behalf of herself and Girls executive producer Konner, saying, “During the windfall of deeply necessary accusations over the last few months in Hollywood, we have been thrilled to see so many women’s voices heard and dark experiences in this industry justified. It’s a hugely important time of change and, like every feminist in Hollywood and beyond, we celebrate. But 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. 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.”
Dunham was criticized widely for her statement.
On Saturday, she released an apology on Twitter, saying, “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. I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry.”
Reps for Dunham pointed THR to the actress’ social media accounts in response to a request for comment on Clemmons’ accusations, with the latest tweet being the apology from Saturday referenced above.
Read Clemmons’ full statement below.
It is time for women of color–black women in particular–to divest from Lena Dunham. pic.twitter.com/dxOWCLhTpA
— zinziclemmons (@zinziclemmons) November 19, 2017
Patrick Shanley contributed to this report.
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