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Title: Lena Dunham lied to discredit an alleged rape victim and then wrote her worst apology yet
Source: Chicago Tribune
URL Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifes ... ze-lena-dunham-1206-story.html
Published: Dec 6, 2018
Author: By Heidi Stevens
Post Date: 2018-12-10 17:37:05 by misterwhite
Keywords: None
Views: 127

oday we will talk about Lena Dunham’s apology (a word I’m applying extremely loosely), and then I hope we will return to the proper amount of talking about Lena Dunham, which is never.

A year ago, Dunham lied in order to discredit a woman who had just gone to the police to report a sexual assault.

On Wednesday, she penned a rambling, pretentious opus about women in Hollywood (“Heroines have emerged. We are cracking open windows and beating down doors. The air is circulating and the light is pouring in,”) and sneaked a whiny, halfhearted mea culpa into the ninth paragraph.

We’re so used to Dunham apologizing at this point (Lena Dunham Apologizes is an actual Twitter handle) that we went ahead and lumped this garbage onto her giant apology pile.

But before we toss them aside, her words are worth examining, if only as a reminder that when we screw up, which all of us do, we should apologize directly, authentically and humbly.

Dunham did nothing of the sort.

First, let’s back up: In November 2017, actress Aurora Perrineau filed a police report accusing “Girls” writer and executive producer Murray Miller of raping her in 2012, when she was 17 years old. (“Girls” was Dunham’s HBO show.) Miller said Perrineau was making the whole thing up and accused her of trying to extract money from him.

Dunham sent a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, co-written with “Girls” showrunner Jenni Konner, saying, “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. ... It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.”

Until Wednesday, when she admitted the “insider knowledge” thing was a bunch of baloney.

“And so I made a terrible mistake,” Dunham wrote in Wednesday’s piece, after talking about Harvey Weinstein, wage equality, systemic bias, “layers of crinoline and repressed rage,” an op-ed she wrote last year and disguising her own pain with medication and chronic overwork.

“When someone I knew, someone I had loved as a brother, was accused, I did something inexcusable: I publicly spoke up in his defense,” she continued. “There are few acts I could ever regret more in this life. I didn't have the ‘insider information’ I claimed but rather blind faith in a story that kept slipping and changing and revealed itself to mean nothing at all.”

(Should have been her first paragraph.)

“I wanted to feel my workplace and my world were safe, untouched by the outside world,” she continued.

(Who doesn’t?)

“… and I claimed that safety at cost to someone else, someone very special.”

(Claimed that safety? Try “lied.” “Lied” is clearer.)

(Also: She didn’t address the worst line of all in her original defense of Miller, “It is a true shame to add to that number.” A true shame? The shame is Dunham’s and Dunham’s alone, for turning Perrineau into a statistic, for scolding her, for changing the subject to false accusations, when the conversation belonged on the accusation at hand.)

Next, Dunham addressed Perrineau directly. (But, like, in a magazine, so we can all follow along.)

“To Aurora: You have been on my mind and in my heart every day this year. I love you. I will always love you. I will always work to right that wrong. In that way, you have made me a better woman and a better feminist.”

(Is she turning another woman’s assault into her own teaching moment?)

“You shouldn't have been given that job in addition to your other burdens ...”

(THEN DON’T GIVE IT TO HER.)

“... but here we are, and here I am asking: How do we move forward? Not just you and I but all of us, living in the gray space between admission and vindication.”

(I don’t know what that means.)

“It's painful to realize that, while I thought I was self-aware, I had actually internalized the dominant male agenda that asks us to defend it no matter what, protect it no matter what, baby it no matter what,” Dunham wrote. “Something in me still feels compelled to do that job: to please, to tidy up, to shopkeep. My job now is to excavate that part of myself and to create a new cavern inside me where a candle stays lit, always safely lit, and illuminates the wall behind it where these words are written: I see you, Aurora. I hear you, Aurora. I believe you, Aurora.”

At this point, Dunham’s apology is little more than performance art. The latest episode of her favorite show: Project Lena.

The more we watch, the deeper she digs into her own not-that-fascinating psyche, tuning out the lived experiences and thoughts and pain of other people, except as they relate to hers.

Enough. I can’t watch anymore. I feel complicit in her marginalization of literally every person whose orbit she enters. Farewell, Lena Dunham. Please get better soon.

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