Writer leaves Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter citing 'hipster racism'

Carla Harmon
November 21, 2017

"[Girls star] Jemima Kirke was in my year at RISD while I was at Brown".

But this time, the performer-director's misstep has drawn scathing condemnation from author Zinzi Clemmons, who said she will no longer contribute to Dunham's weekly feminist newsletter, Lenny Letter, and called on others to follow her example: "For all you writers who are outraged about what she did, I encourage you to do the same", Clemmons wrote in a statement posted to social media on Sunday.

After receiving backlash for her victim-blaming, Dunham released a second statement stating that she and Konner "regret this decision [to defend Miller] with every fiber of our being". Most of these acquaintances were like Lena-wealthy, with parents who are influential in the art world.

Clemmons claimed they "seemed to get off" on wielding their power while denying it.

"Back in college, I avoided those people like the plague due to their well-known racism", she continued.


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. "Why are you overreacting?'" Clemmons wrote.

Clemmons alleges that one girl in Dunham's circle "was known to use the N word in conversation in order to be provocative".

Over the weekend, a writer from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's Lenny Letter publicly left the popular newsletter, citing Dunham's racism and response to rape accusations against her friend and co-worker Murray Miller.

"One of my best friends was victimized in nearly the exact same way by someone in Lena's circle", Clemmons wrote. "We apologise to any women who have been disappointed". Should Dunham still have access to the privilege and platforms she enjoys?

Dunham had issued a message of support for Miller on Friday, writing that "during every time of change there are also incidents of the culture ... taking down the wrong targets".


"Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely, and our relationship to the accused should not be part of the calculation anyone makes when examining her case", she said.

Clemmons explained that she was appalled after Dunham voiced her support of Murray Miller following his accusation of sexual assault by actress Aurora Perrineau. Dunham stood by Miller even after supporting the #MeToo campaign against powerful abusers and harassers and shaming people on Twitter for not believing women accusers.

Dunham did not directly respond to Clemmons' post. "We were powerless against them".

In a statement Saturday, Dunham said, "I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend's situation".

'I now understand it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry'.


Read Clemmons' full post here. Under patriarchy, "I believe you" is essential.

Other reports by iNewsToday

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