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Controversy of the Day

Lena Dunham apologizes for her comments about Odell Beckham Jr. But she may need to apologize for this, too.


lena dunham

Lena Dunham has apologized. (Fortune Live Media / Flickr)

“Girls” creator Lena Dunham got herself in some trouble last week when she complained in her newsletter, “Lenny,” that NFL player Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t pay attention to her at the Met Gala.

“He looked at me and determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards,” she wrote.

Many accused her of racial insensitivity — that she implied he was superficial for not acknowledging her and that she felt entitled to his attention.

Dunham apologized for the incident:

I owe Odell Beckham Jr an apology. Despite my moments of bravado, I struggle at industry events (and in life) with the sense that I don't rep a certain standard of beauty and so when I show up to the Met Ball surrounded by models and swan-like actresses it's hard not to feel like a sack of flaming garbage. This felt especially intense with a handsome athlete as my dinner companion and a bunch of women I was sure he'd rather be seated with. But I went ahead and projected these insecurities and made totally narcissistic assumptions about what he was thinking, then presented those assumptions as facts. I feel terrible about it. Because after listening to lots of valid criticism, I see how unfair it is to ascribe misogynistic thoughts to someone I don't know AT ALL. Like, we have never met, I have no idea the kind of day he's having or what his truth is. But most importantly, I would never intentionally contribute to a long and often violent history of the over-sexualization of black male bodies- as well as false accusations by white women towards black men. I'm so sorry, particularly to OBJ, who has every right to be on his cell phone. The fact is I don't know about his state of mind (I don't know a lot of things) and I shouldn't have acted like I did. Much love and thanks, Lena

But now people are combing through past tweets of Dunham’s and finding other insensitive content, like:

It seems like Dunham is smart and attuned to the ways racism is deeply embedded in our cultural institutions, so hopefully she'll acknowledge missteps in her social media past, too.

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Lena Dunham apologizes for her comments about Odell Beckham Jr. But she may need to apologize for this, too.

Brianna Snyder

Brianna has been working in media since 2005, when she left Westfield University in Massachusetts and became the listings editor at an alt-weekly in Hartford. Now, she's the senior editor at the Times Union Magazine Division in Albany, N.Y. She cares very much about news, Beyonce, the Internet, gin and tonic and that Vine of this one puppy who keeps falling asleep and smooshing his face on a pillow. Follow: @BriannaLSnyder or BriannaSnyder.com

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