Lena Dunham has issued an apology following controversy surrounding an anecdote she told about NFL player Odell Beckham Jr.
During an interview with Amy Schumer in Dunham’s own Lenny newsletter, the Girls actress recalled sitting next to the American football star at this summer’s Met Ball in New York City.
“I was sat next to Odell Beckham Jr. and it 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,” Dunham said. “He was like ‘That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog’. It wasn’t mean – he just seemed confused.”
Dunham continued: “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 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 previously defending her remarks, Dunham has now apologised for her “totally narcissistic assumptions” and accusing Beckham Jr of “misogynistic thoughts”.
“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,” she added.
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
Beckham Jr has yet to respond to the issue.