Black Writer Resigns From Lena Dunham's Payroll Over Rapist Defense

Kelvin Reese
November 21, 2017

Clemmons' announcement comes after actress Aurora Perrineau came forward Friday to claim Murray Miller, a producer and writer on "Girls", raped her in 2012 when she was 17.

Dunham was showered with backlash for her response to the sexual assault allegations, prompting her to issue an apology.

She says she is leaving Dunham's newsletter, "Lenny Letter", citing the writer-producer-actress' "well-known racism".

She added that she was well aware of Dunham's college circle of friends, who would engage in what Clemmons called "hipster racism".

Lena Dunham-and what many see as her brand of privileged, white feminism-continues to face one controversy after another.

Then, like now, Dunham displayed what Clemmons calls "hipster racism", hiding bigoted opinions behind a veneer of sarcasm and humor and using the "it was only a joke" defense when called out. She explained it further by stating that the common responses to this type of racism are, "It's just a joke" and "Why are you overreacting?" She said Dunham's recent reaction to sexual assault accusations pushed her over the edge.

"I was often in the same room with her, but I never spoke to her, only watched her from afar in anxiety and horror", she wrote in the post.

In her post she also talked about her time in Nigeria while attending a feminist literary festival - from where she wrote the FB post -and said she was inspired by "the women here who are facing such enormous obstacles, putting themselves in danger every day to help women in some of the worst conditions on earth".

Clemmons announced she could no longer work for the outlet which Dunham runs with'Girls co-show runner Jenni Konner, after the two defended writer Murray Miller of sexual assault accusations

Dunham apologized for her statement by 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". Despite being a prominent feminist, Dunham shockingly chose to write a statement on behalf of herself and Konner in support of Murray.

But many have already been turned off by the original statement, including Zinzi Clemmons, a frequent contributor to Dunham and Konner's newsletter, Lenny Letter.

"I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry", Dunham wrote.

But now, Clemmons said, she was finally in a position to do something about Dunham's behavior, by deciding never to work for her again and urging others to do the same.

Clemmons condemned Dunham's decision to defend Perrineau's alleged abuser and claimed a friend suffered abuse from someone else in Dunham's social circle.

You can read Clemmons' full statement below.

In her statement, she said that she was willing to "sacrifice some comfort and a little bit of cash" in order to "hold Lena accountable". Every person and every feminist should be required to hear her. She's now in Nigeria at a literary festival hearing stories from women who are "putting themselves in danger every day to help women in some of the worst conditions on earth".

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