Tessa Thompson’s Instagram was meant to be celebratory: a group of activists and celebrities including Reese Witherspoon, Tarana Burke, and Rashida Jones were huddled together for a photo that applauded all their hard work on Time’s Up, the anti-sexual-harassment initiative backed by 300 prominent women in Hollywood. However, commenters were quick to criticize the photo, and in particular, the presence of one person: Lena Dunham.
“Why is Lena Dunham there?” one commenter wrote. “She’s part of the problem. No thank you to Time’s Up.”
“I support this initiative and the fight for gender justice and am really glad that the movement is growing,” one commenter wrote. “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 responded with the following statement, in which she reveals that Dunham did not put any effort into the initiative:
Lena was not anywhere present in our group during the countless hours of work for the last two months. We hosted an open house for the actresses for red carpet messaging and Lena presence was a surprise to us all. This is a time of reckoning. And for many, a re-education. So many women also have real work to do. 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.
Women also have work to do, to echo Thompson. Dunham could start by apologizing to Perrineau.