Lena Dunham is accepting responsibility for one of her greatest regrets: defending a Girls writer after he was accused of sexual assault by actress Aurora Perrineau. The allegation surfaced in late 2017, at which point Dunham and Girls showrunner Jenni Konner issued a joint statement that expressed their support for the accused, 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,” they wrote. One year later, Dunham has fully backtracked from that apology, issuing a new one to Perrineau.
Dunham calls the statement in defense of Miller “inexcusable” in an op-ed she penned for The Hollywood Reporter. Speaking about the #MeToo movement, Dunham writes, “With that progress, there have been mistakes, there has been pain. There has been a deep and gut-wrenching reckoning. And not just for men.”
She then issued yet another apology to Perrineau, writing, “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.”
Dunham also offered praise to Perrineau and thanked her. “To Aurora: You have been on my mind and in my heart every day this year,” she writes. “I love you. I will always love you. I will always work to right that wrong. In that way, you have made me a better woman and a better feminist. You shouldn’t have been given that job in addition to your other burdens, but here we are, and here I am asking: How do we move forward? Not just you and I but all of us, living in the gray space between admission and vindication…. It’s painful to realize that, while I thought I was self-aware, I had actually internalized the dominant male agenda that asks us to defend it no matter what, protect it no matter what, baby it no matter what.
She signed the letter with “All we have to do is listen. Love and more of that, Lena Dunham.”