In the wake of the news of mounting sexual-harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein that broke last week, Lena Dunham was one of the first to speak out, expressing awe at the bravery of the women who have come forward to publicly accuse him. Since then, Weinstein has been ousted from his company, and dozens of actresses — including Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Glenn Close, and Jessica Chastain — have condemned the former studio head’s actions. Many A-list men in Hollywood, however, have not been so vocal, with the Wrap reporting that Matt Damon and Russell Crowe pressured the New York Times to kill their Weinstein exposé in 2004. Now, Dunham has written an op-ed for the Times calling on big-name actors who’ve worked with Weinstein to break their silence.
“Ignoring bad behavior remains the signature move of men in Hollywood,” she writes, citing the industry’s sympathetic attitude toward accused abusers like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, as well as the unnamed director of a show Dunham says sexually harassed her last year. “The reason I am zeroing in on the men is that they have the least to lose and the most power to shift the narrative, and are probably not dealing with the same level of collective and personal trauma around these allegations. But here we are, days later, waiting for Mr. Weinstein’s most powerful collaborators to say something. Anything. It wouldn’t be just a gift to the women he has victimized, but a message to the women who are watching our industry closely. They need a signal that we do not approve of the abuse of power and hatred of women that is the driving force behind this kind of behavior.” (George Clooney, a collaborator of Weinstein’s, spoke out on Monday.)
Dunham also says she performed at a Hillary Clinton benefit last year organized by the Weinstein Company despite having heard the rumors about Weinstein because she “wanted so desperately to support my candidate that I made a calculation,” and that she’s not afraid to admit fault for her error in judgement now. But she argues that she shouldn’t be the only one apologizing: “Men of Hollywood, what are you sorry for?”