When actress Tessa Thompson posted a group photo to Instagram of activists and celebrities involved with Time’s Up—the anti-harassment initiative supported by 300 Hollywood women—commenters immediately criticized the inclusion of Lena Dunham.
The Day Before. 6 hours, 60 artists, 8 activists and a lot of coffee. Tonight— it was televised.
“Why is Lena Dunham there?” one person wrote. “She’s part of the problem. No thank you to Time’s Up.”
Dunham is criticized for problematic comments just as often as she’s lauded for feminist values. One commenter on Thompson’s post alluded to a recent controversy in which Dunham defended Girls writer Murray Miller, who actress Aurora Perrineau said raped her.
“I support this initiative and the fight for gender justice and am really glad that the movement is growing,” the user commented. “I however am perplexed by the inclusion of Lena Dunham, a woman who publicly accused a young sexual assault survivor of color, Aurora Perrineau, of lying about her assault.”
Thompson, known for her roles in Westworld and Thor: Ragnarok, replied to the commenter, stating that Dunham was not nearly as involved in the Time’s Up campaign as the photo made it seem.
“Lena was not anywhere present in our group during the countless hours of work for the last two months,” Thompson wrote. “We hosted an open house for actresses for red carpet messaging and Lena presence was a surprise to us all.”
Thompson went on to acknowledge the commenter, saying that the current “time of reckoning” in Hollywood beckons a learning process.
“So many women also have real work to do,” Thompson wrote. “I’m afraid it’s too nuanced a conversation to have on this platform. But I hear you, and know that your thoughts and words are not lost on me. It’s been discussed.”
Dunham posted the same photo of the group of women—which included Reese Witherspoon and Rashida Jones—to her own Instagram account, writing in the caption: “Humbled to stand alongside these amazing women and say #TIMESUP on systemic oppression, underrepresentation, discrimination, abuse and violence in all industries.”
Thompson’s comment came the same day that multiple outlets reported Dunham and her boyfriend, Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff, broke up, ending their five-year relationship. An anonymous source reportedly told E! News that the relationship ended mutually in December.
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