Lena Dunham: I falsely claimed that I knew a rape accuser was lying because I was "colonized by patriarchy"

Yeah, I don’t know. Most people who’ve been “colonized by patriarchy” manage to stop short of smearing an accuser to cover for a buddy whom she’s accused of sexual assault. Lena Dunham, November 2017, after actress Aurora Perrineau accused a writer on “Girls” of raping her years before, when she was 17:

“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. 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.”

Nothing wrong with giving a friend whom you respect the benefit of the doubt on an accusation absent evidence of guilt. There is something wrong with making sh*t up to impugn the accuser’s credibility. Lena Dunham, December 2018:

I made a terrible mistake. When someone I knew, someone I had loved as a brother, was accused, I did something inexcusable: I publicly spoke up in his defense. 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. I wanted to feel my workplace and my world were safe, untouched by the outside world (a privilege in and of itself, the privilege of ignoring what hasn’t hurt you) and I claimed that safety at cost to someone else, someone very special.

What a blow it must have been to Perrineau to have Woke Olympian Lena Dunham nudging people in the industry not to believe her based on sooper-sekret exculpatory evidence to which Dunham was supposedly privy. For any other (minor) celebrity, a lie of this magnitude this would be career-jeopardizing. But Dunham has a lot of progressive cred banked among her fans and can afford to burn through some of it to save herself. And never forget, the life cycle of every “Lena Dunham embarrasses herself in public” story — and there are many — has two stages. One is the embarrassment itself, the second is the overwrought apology that she’s such a thoughtless f***-up. Dunham’s figured out that if you lash yourself hard enough and publicly enough people are less likely to give you the lash themselves. Plus, she’s an exhibitionist. Groveling apologies are just another part of the exhibition.

This latest one takes the cake, though. As you’ll see below, the mea culpa about Perrineau wasn’t confined to the printed page. Dunham recently appeared at an event to publicize the issue of THR she guest-edited side by side with Aurora Perrineau’s mother, to do a little groveling in person. Under different circumstances that might seem commendable, but watch the dreck she uncorks. Remember, this wasn’t just a case of her not believing Perrineau’s daughter, it was a matter of lying about her credibility so that other people wouldn’t believe her either. (That fact isn’t dwelled on in her speech, unsurprisingly.) The fulsome apology again comes off as driven by motives other than remorse, in this case showcasing the fact that the Perrineaus have forgiven her so that her critics might too. And the capper is that, in the course of pretending to take responsibility, she disclaims responsibility. It’s not due to her being a creep that she falsely impugned Aurora Perrineau, it’s due to her having been … “colonized by patriarchy.” As a Twitter pal said, “Even when it’s her fault, it’s men’s fault.” What a cretin.

David Strom 6:41 PM on September 26, 2022