Lena Dunham forced to apologize for defending ‘Girls’ writer Murray Miller after rape accusation
Lena Dunham is in the headlines again, which can only be a bad thing.
In the past, the Girls star has come under fire for her questionable "feminist" views (which seem to favor white women only), insensitive statements on abortion, and - most famously - her blunt accounts of how she interacted with her younger sister when she was a child, which some people interpreted as a form of sexual abuse.
And, just when people thought she couldn't do any worse, she went ahead and defended a man who had been accused of rape.
A couple of days ago, actress Aurora Perrineau issued a statement against Murray Miller, a writer on Dunham's show. She claimed that she had been the victim of rape, saying: “I woke up in Murray’s bed naked. He was on top of me having sexual intercourse with me. At no time did I consent to any sexual contact with Murray.”
The incident happened back in 2012, when Perrineau was just 17 years old. However, it has only recently come to light because of the Hollywood sexual abuse scandal.
Now, with Dunham claiming to be an outspoken feminist and advocate for women's rights, one would assume that she would empathize with Perrineau, and recognize that she was yet another victim of a widespread epidemic of harassment and abuse in the film industry.
However, in a joint statement with Girls showrunner Jenni Konner, Dunham outright defended her colleague against the accusations. They said:
“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. 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 per cent of assault cases that are misreported every year.”
While some people may think it is acceptable - and perhaps even expected - to defend a colleague in a situation like this, it is important to remember that the pair had the option to say absolutely nothing at all. Even if they believed that Miller had done no wrong, they should still have considered the effects of publicly accusing a woman of lying (with no proof) during the height of a huge sex scandal.
Following significant backlash, however, Dunham has now recanted her statement and apologized for being "naive", and said the apology extends to "any women who have been disappointed".
If you read between the lines, though, Dunham doesn't seem to be apologizing so much for what she said, but rather when she said it. Regardless of whether people took her message seriously or not, though, the damage had already been done, and many fans are unwilling to forgive her for yet another so-called mistake.
Ultimately, if Dunham really wants to be this pioneering campaigner for women's rights that she claims she is, she really ought to actually listen to women. Her empty feminism really isn't helping the cause at all, and, if anything, just gives women a bad name.