Writer and actress Lena Dunham has come under fire for springing to the defense of a writer for her show Girls, after he was accused of sexually assaulting actress Aurora Perrineau.
Perrineau has filed a report with Los Angeles police, accusing writer Murray Miller of sexually assaulting her. Sergeant Salvador Rios of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the report to The Hollywood Reporter.
According to THR, Miller has denied the allegations through his attorney, releasing the following statement:
Mr. Miller categorically and vehemently denies Ms. Perrineau’s outrageous claims. After being contacted several weeks ago by lawyers who — on Ms. Perrineau’s behalf — sought substantial monetary damages from him, Mr. Miller’s legal team gathered overwhelming evidence directly contradicting these false and offensive claims.
Only after her demands for money were rebuffed did Ms. Perrineau go to the police. Mr. Miller looks forward to sharing all evidence and information with any and all authorities seeking the truth in this matter.
Meanwhile, Dunham and Girls showrunner Jenni Konner have also released a statement defending Miller, saying that they have “insider knowledge” of the situation that leads them to believe the charges are false.
During the windfall of deeply necessary accusations over the last few months in Hollywood, we have been thrilled to see so many women’s voices heard and dark experiences in this industry justified. It’s a hugely important time of change and, like every feminist in Hollywood and beyond, we celebrate. But during every time of change there are also incidences of the culture, in its enthusiasm and zeal, taking down the wrong targets. We believe, having worked closely with him for more than half a decade, that this is the case with 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. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.
She also tweeted the following, which appears to be a reference to the situation:
I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love.
— ???? Lena Dunham ???? (@lenadunham) November 17, 2017
However, this has not gone down well with many commentators, who appear to be finding Dunham’s apparently unsubstantiated defense of her coworker pretty hard to swallow.
But Lena Dunham says this is “misreported”.
— Caroline Williams (@WilliCaroline) November 18, 2017
Of course they fucking are. Lena Dunham and her ilk are perfect examples of opportunist white feminism. She doesn't exactly have a stellar record in confronting those within her circle. And citing false rape accusations in his defense? Disgusting. https://t.co/nXD7M5bvoD
— Melissa (@somehowfurious) November 18, 2017
lena dunham: women coming forward about sexual assault are so important this is so necessary but only if it's about a known scumbag and not someone i know personally, please
— jor (@menopausekink) November 18, 2017
It is hard to imagine a better avatar for white liberal capitalist feminism than Dunham. Truly this is *kisses fingers* spot on for that brand. https://t.co/O8Z1hI18zn
— Tressie Mc (@tressiemcphd) November 18, 2017
Please stop letting Lena Dunham speak for my generation. https://t.co/n9Dq4Cwnof
— Kate Feldman (@kateefeldman) November 18, 2017
i never want to see any publication hail lena dunham as a feminist icon ever again https://t.co/F89YvP7BHM
— jor (@menopausekink) November 18, 2017
Dunham has previously come under fire for her public statements on abortion, and a passage in her book which appeared to reveal that she molested her younger sister when they were children.Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Image: Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy