“Girls” producer and women’s rights activist Lena Dunham is apologizing one year after defending one of her show’s producers from his alleged rape victim.
In her letter as a guest editor for The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment issue, the actress and feminist explained her defense of Murray Miller as a “terrible mistake” and an act she “could ever regret more in this life.”
In November 2017, Miller was accused of sexually assaulting actress Aurora Perrineau in 2012 when she was just 17 years old.
“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,” she said in a statement for a polygraph test.
However, last year, Dunham and “Girls” co-showrunner Jenni Konner released a joint statement saying that they had
“insider knowledge that this accusation is one of the 3% 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. ”
But now Dunham has changed her tune in her editor’s letter and admitted that her “insider” information was “blind faith in a story that kept slipping and changing and revealed itself to mean nothing at all.”
“To Aurora: You have been on my mind and in my heart every day this year. I love you,” Dunham wrote. “I will work to right that wrong. In that way, you have made me a better woman and a better feminist.”
Dunham also admitted that what she mistook her self-awareness was actually her having
“internalized the dominant male agenda that asks us to defend it no matter what, protect it no matter what.”
She went on to vow that
“my job now is to excavate that part of myself to create a new cavern inside me where a candle stays lit, and illuminates the wall behind it where these words are written: ‘I see you, Aurora. I hear you, Aurora. I believe you, Aurora.’”
The outspoken actress also touched on her experience with sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
“I didn’t want to tell anyone about the 70-year-old Hollywood luminary who was so angry that I rebuffed his kiss that he made me do 30 takes of the word ‘hello’ or the Oscar nominee who drove me to the place he lost his virginity while I asked again and again when I could be dropped home,” she recalled. “I didn’t want anyone to know about the pseudo-boyfriend who tied me up with my special occasion stockings and forced himself inside of me anally, or about my father’s friend who asked me not to tell my father we were meeting.”
The actress also reflected on what she’s learned from the year of #MeToo and Time’s Up.
“It took a chorus of women much braver — more open and honest than I’ve ever been — to expose the fact that these are not isolated incidents,” she wrote.
Dunham closed her letter by again commending Perrineau’s
“bravery, openness, forgiveness, dignity and grace in the face of legal proceedings and endless questioning … you have generously allowed me to speak about your many virtues and tell these readers that you are moving on as a woman and as an artist. You have inspired me to do the same, and I know that I’m not alone.”
Dunham also shut down anyone who thinks her apology to Perrineau was to “curry public favor,” saying that
“this is for the Women in Entertainment issue, and women in entertainment need healing. Sometimes healing starts with the words: I’m sorry.”
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