Why I Can’t Defend Lena Dunham Anymore

David Shankbone

I once felt Lena Dunham was unfairly targeted by the media and got far too much undeserved flack for simply being unapologetically herself. Although as time passes, and more scandals come out in relation to her, my feelings have slowly changed. I still do believe that from the start she was unfairly targeted but I also believe that there is merit to the most recent uproar against her name.

For those who aren’t in the know, her latest scandal has been caused by publicly supporting an alleged rapist. Murray Miller, a former writer on Dunham’s show Girls, was accused of raping actress Aurora Perrineau in 2012, when she was just seventeen years old.

Dunham came forward to state that Miller had always been good to her so therefore she wholeheartedly supports and stands behind him. The overall issue most had with this (including myself), is that it should be common knowledge that just because someone is good to you or the people you know, doesn’t make it so. Therefore people were outraged that Dunham would make such a seemingly ignorant statement, especially during this time where women finally feel safe coming forward and speaking out against their assaulters. What made it even worse, is that she issued an apology, but it was for the timing, and not for the action itself.

While the latter part of her statement rang true, regarding how all women should be heard out despite any personal connection to either party, it leads people to think about why Dunham felt the original statement was okay in the first place. Being in the spotlight for as long as she has, especially enduring one scandal after another, one would think she would learn to be more careful with her words. Clearly she has a powerful voice, and often times I do feel it’s meant with good intent, but this doesn’t always make it right.

My main concern is that her fans may support her blindly, and if the political state of our country has taught us anything, it’s that celebrity fans can be nonsensical in their ideology and toxic to the overall societal influence. I would hate to see a legion of young women who follow Dunham take on a similar mindset toward those who are going through similar circumstances. Having followed Dunham’s politics, which align closely with my own, I do see that often times she has the right intent but I would hope moving forward she might be more thoughtful when issuing statements and in her overall actions—keeping in mind the many voices she influences. TC mark

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