A day after a revealing conversation between Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer was published in Dunham’s weekly Lenny Letter, the Girls creator has taken to social media to clarify heated comments she made against New York Giants football player Odell Beckham Jr. During the duo’s chat, Dunham recounted what occurred when Beckham Jr. was seated next to her at the Met Gala — an annual, swanky event that raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute — earlier this year. “[I]t was so amazing because 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.’ It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused,” she told Schumer. “The vibe was very much like, ‘Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.’ It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, ‘This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.’”
After receiving a fair share of backlash on social media — with many people noting her white privilege and reverse sexism — Dunham posted a series of tweets on Friday night to defend her rationale. “.@OBJ_3 is talented, stylish, seems super awesome and wasn’t into chatting with me at a fancy party,” she wrote. “My story about him was clearly (to me) about my own insecurities as an average-bodied woman at a table of supermodels & athletes. It’s not an assumption about who he is or an expectation of sexual attention. It’s my sense of humor, which has kept me alive for 30 years. Glad the outrage machine roars on though, right @amyschumer?” The wide receiver has yet to respond to Dunham.
Update: On Saturday afternoon, Dunham issued a longer statement on her Instagram page. You can read it in full below.
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