Writer for Lena Dunham's Feminist Mag Quits, Accuses Her of 'Hipster Racism'

After Dunham defended 'Girls' writer Murray Miller against sexual assault charges, writer Zinzi Clemmons called upon women of color to 'divest from Lena Dunham'

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Director Jenni Konner and actress Lena Dunham attends the 2nd Anniversary Party for "Lenny" at The Jane on September 15, 2017, in New York.
Credit: Donald Traill/AP

A writer for Lena Dunham and colleague Jenni Konner's feminist newsletter Lenny Letter resigned from the publication and accused Dunham of 'hipster racism' after she defended Girls writer Murray Miller, who was accused of sexual assault by an actress on the show.

In a lengthy Twitter post, Zinzi Clemmons wrote: "It's time for women of color - black women in particular - to divest from Lena Dunham," citing Dunham's compliance with casual racism in the workplace as reason for her decision to discontinue her work for Lenny Letter.

Clemmons said she "ran in the same circles" as Dunham in college, where many students who made sarcastic comments about race were "wealthy, with parents who are influential in the art world. They had a lot of power and seemed to get off on simultaneously wielding it and denying it."

"Back in college, I avoided those people like the plague because of their well-known racism," she added. "I'd call their strain 'hipster racism,' which typically uses sarcasm as a cover, and in the end, it looks a lot like gaslighting." She even referred to a friend of Dunham - who she claims was known to use the N-word in conversation - saying "it's just a joke" if she was called out for acting inappropriately. 

Last week, actress Aurora Perrineau accused Girls writer Murray Miller of sexual assault in a Los Angeles County police report, after which Miller denied the claims in a statement through his attorneys.

Following the allegations, Dunham and Konner published a statement defending Miller of the allegations, insisting their "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...We stand by Murray." 

Dunham has received immense pushback for her defense of Miller. In Clemonns' post, she wrote: "I have been overcome by emotion since reading Aurora Perrineau's account because of its similarity to an incident that happned when I was in college. One of my best friends was victimized in almost the exact same way by someone in Lena's circle. It was never addressed, and he continues to move in these circles and has a powerful job."

Lena's power, like that of her acquaintance, Clemonns' argued, should be held to account.