Writer Leaves Dunham Project Due to Her 'Well-Known Racism'

Zinzi Clemmons says she goes way back with Dunham, advises women of color to avoid her
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2017 7:11 AM CST
Writer Leaves Dunham's Lenny Letter Over 'Hipster Racism'
This Feb. 2, 2017, file photo shows Lena Dunham attending a premiere of HBO's "Girls" in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Lena Dunham caused a stir last week when she and Girls co-creator Jenni Konner issued a statement defending a Girls writer from allegations of sexual assault against a teen. She has since apologized, but that didn't appease one of the writers for her Lenny e-newsletter. Per Vulture, Zinzi Clemmons issued a statement Sunday announcing she'll no longer work for Lenny and that it's because of Dunham's "well-known racism," which she also dubs "hipster racism." Meaning, in Clemmons' words, that the offender "typically uses sarcasm as a cover, and in the end it looks a lot like gaslighting—'It's just a joke. Why are you overreacting?'" Clemmons explains she feels comfortable saying this about Dunham, as she's known her since they were both in college, when Dunham and her rich friends "had a lot of power and seemed to get off on simultaneously wielding it and denying it."

Clemmons adds that someone close to her was "victimized" back then by "someone in Lena's circle" and that he "continues to move in those circles and has a powerful job." She says she stayed at Lenny only because she had a good relationship with the editors there, but that now "it is time for women of color—black women in particular—to divest from Lena Dunham." Jezebel points out a string of other tweets Clemmons posted on the subject, including calling Dunham's online apology a "half-assed attempt to cover your ass." Clemmons also doesn't seem fazed by her detractors. "To all the haters, harassers and abusers creeping into my timeline, remember this: I brought down a major celebrity and her publication with one Facebook post. Try me," she tweeted early Monday. (More Lena Dunham stories.)

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