Lena Dunham Got a Public Talking-To from the Mom of the Woman Who Accused a Former ‘Girls’ Producer of Assault
A year after Lena Dunham and her former writing partner Jenni Konner defended former Girls producer Murray Miller against accusations that he assaulted actress Aurora Perrineau when she was just 17 years old, the Girls creator has publicly apologized to Perrineau, and her family, admitting that her defense was “a terrible mistake.”
In her guest editor’s letter for The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Women in Entertainment” issue, published on Wednesday, December 5, Dunham says that in the year since former Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual violence came to light, many women have emerged as heroines in a new narrative, and that the changing face of Hollywood is a positive one. But she admits she made mistakes, and her defense of Miller is one of the biggest ones.
“There are few acts I could ever regret more in this life,” she said of her defense of Miller. “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.”
To Perrineau, Dunham offered her love and support, promising to work at fixing herself so that she can be a better ally to other women.
“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,” Dunham writes. “Something in me still feels compelled to do that job: to please, to tidy up, to shopkeep. My job now is to excavate that part of myself and to create a new cavern inside me where a candle stays lit, always safely lit, and illuminates the wall behind it where these words are written: I see you, Aurora. I hear you, Aurora. I believe you, Aurora.”
Ahead of the “Women in Entertainment” issue, Dunham was joined on stage at the THR Women in Entertainment gala on Wednesday morning, and brought Perrineau’s mother, Brittany, as her guest. During a moment in the program, Dunham brought the elder Perrineau on stage to issue her first apology, thanking both mother and daughter for their patience, acceptance, and friendship since the accusations against Miller came to light.
But Brittany Perrineau didn’t hold back in giving Dunham a piece of her mind.
“You hurt us. What you said was hurtful, denying survivors like you, me, Aurora, and millions of others,” she said. “It also showed how we are trained to blindly support perpetrators of terror because ‘they have to be right’…right?”
Perrineau then went on to explain why her family chose to forgive Dunham and move forward with their lives. “Forgiveness is a powerful thing and I think we need to redirect our anger at the perpetrators of these heinous assaults.”
In August, the LA County Sheriff’s Department declined to charge Miller, saying the California statute of limitations had passed.
(Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter )