Lena Dunham may be the first person to fabricate details of her alleged rape, then proclaim all women’s claims need to be believed, and then publicly accuse a young woman of lying about having been raped.
Finally, the star and creator of “Girls” has been exposed as the empty vessel she is.
“Girls” was never the smart, generational criticism Dunham always claimed; really, it was just a smuttier, younger “Sex and the City.” Nor is there as much daylight between Dunham and her shallow, entitled character Hannah Horvath as she’d have us believe.
“I think I might be the voice of a generation,” Hannah tells her parents in the first episode. “Or at least a voice of a generation.”
It was supposed to be a joke, but all too quickly Dunham embraced this notion herself, no doubt emboldened by the real estate afforded her in New York Magazine, the New Yorker and the New York Times. So what if she was a 25-year-old with no real life experience? What she had to say clearly mattered.
Until, that is, Nov. 17, when Dunham and colleague Jenni Konner came to the defense of Murray Miller, a writer on “Girls” accused of rape. A police report had been filed. Yet here came a statement no one asked for, brimming with smug superiority.
The cast of “Girls” in Season 1
“While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story,” they wrote in part, “our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year.”
This is just one of the many problems with Dunham: She speaks, usually unbidden, with complete moral and philosophical authority — until she’s called out online, at which point she furiously and pathetically backpedals.
She’s a total hypocrite who claims we’re the ones who have issues with her body and slovenly dress, yet she strains to appear sexy and glamorous on the red carpet. She wants desperately to be liked while claiming she doesn’t care if we like her. She’s a narcissist who possesses no intellectual rigor, no belief system, no relationship with the truth.
“I’m an unreliable narrator,” she wrote in her 2014 memoir “Not That Kind of Girl.”
So begins a chapter called “Barry,” named for the student she claimed raped her as a college student at Oberlin.
Barry, Dunham wrote, was an unstylish white Republican (of course) who had a mustache, wore cowboy boots and hosted a radio show. A girl he’d once had sex with, Dunham wrote, said Barry left her bedroom spattered “like a crime scene” in blood. Dunham wrote that she had “a few versions” of the story in her mind, but other people — including, curiously, a “Girls” writer named Murray — helped her see she’d been raped.
The only problem with this story? Just one guy in Dunham’s timeframe, on her campus, fit this description. His name was Barry. He’d never raped her.
Whether Dunham knew or cared about the damage she’d done — falsely accusing a man the media quickly identified, giving unfair leverage to those who would (ahem) doubt future victims’ stories — became, typically, less important than her experience of the whole media maelstrom.
“[I] had hoped beyond hope that the sensitive nature of the event” — meaning her ostensible rape — “would be honored, and that no one would attempt to reopen these wounds or deepen my trauma,” Dunham wrote. Instead, “I have had my character and credibility questioned at every turn.”
In this #metoo moment, Dunham’s social and political tone-deafness only underscores how out of touch she is: A product of wealthy artist parents, a downtown New York upbringing, a homogeneous world of rich white friends insulated from life’s hardships, Dunham was ushered into Hollywood via nepotism in her early 20s. She is everything Middle America resents about coastal elites, rightfully so. She’s not nearly as smart as she thinks. She doesn’t know what feminism means.
This is a woman who said she’d never had an abortion, “but I wish I had.” In her memoir, she wrote about obsessing over her baby sister Grace to an alarming degree.
“Basically,” Dunham wrote, “anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying.” She wrote of masturbating in bed next to Grace and that she’d once pulled apart Grace’s legs to find pebbles up her toddler sister’s vagina.
She posed pantsless for well-known sexual predator Terry Richardson. She accused Odell Beckham Jr. of horrible thoughts because he didn’t talk to her at last year’s Met Gala. “It was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, ‘That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.’ ”
Lastly, and perhaps most damning of all, she gave away her rescue dog when he became, she said, too much. Lena Dunham has had innumerable chances, but time and again only proves her horribleness.
Days after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, Dunham wrote in a New York Times op-ed that she “hear[s] stories from victims themselves at a rate that feels positively dystopian” and “ignoring bad behavior remains the signature move of men in Hollywood.”
Not just the men, clearly. Lena Dunham, take your leave.