Tessa Thompson Clarifies Comment About Lena Dunham Not Being a Part of Time's Up Movement
"I, in no way, want to diminish Lena Dunham and her work, her voice, and her importance," Tessa Thompson wrote in a statement shared on Twitter
The Thor: Ragnarok actress tweeted a lengthy statement Tuesday regarding a comment she posted on a since-deleted Instagram, in which she said Dunham was not a part of “countless hours of work” in the last two months on the initiative, an organized campaign that aims to fight sexual harassment, assault and inequality for women in all kinds of workplaces.
“I sometimes lack finesse in navigating social media,” wrote Thompson, 34. “Hard to discuss issues with nuance there. A response I made to comments on an Instagram post became fodder for a piece that I believe was designed to create conflict where there isn’t any.”
“It’s perhaps more complex than that,” she continued. “But I, in no way, want to diminish Lena Dunham and her work, her voice, and her importance. We have spoken and she knows my heart. I feel a responsibility to women that have sometimes felt ignored, dismissed and underrepresented. They are my beacons.”
“I regret that my words were misinterpreted to distract from the most important thing: The Time’s Up campaign is for everyone, in all capacities, contributions big and small,” she concluded. “It doesn’t belong to any one. It is for us all. The beauty of this huge collaboration has been a group of countless committed people who have come together for a shared purpose. To create change. And it is such a powerful thing. I stand, humbled, with everyone involved. Linked not ranked.”
On Sunday, Thompson posted a photo on Instagram featuring Michelle Williams, Reese Witherspoon, Rashida Jones, Tracee Ellis Ross, Emma Stone, and Dunham pledging support for Time’s Up, which was a powerful presence at the 2018 Golden Globes. In the comment section, one user called out the inclusion of Dunham, citing her statements previously made in defense of Murray Miller, a Girls writer who was accused of sexual assault. (Miller denied the allegation, and Dunham, who came under intense scrutiny online for her initial statement, issued an apology on Twitter.)
In response, Thompson wrote, “Lena was not anywhere present in our group during the countless hours of work for the last two months. We hosted an open house for the actresses for red carpet messaging and Lena[‘s] presence was a surprise to us all. This is a time of reckoning. And for many, a re-education. So many women also have real work to do. I’m afraid it’s too nuanced a conversation to have on this platform. But I hear you, and know that your thoughts and words are not lost on me. It’s been discussed.” (Thompson has since deleted the Instagram post.)
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.
RELATED VIDEO: Women of Hollywood Attend Golden Globes Together in Support of the Time’s Up Movement
On Monday, Dunham, 31, issued a statement to Indiewire saying she was “honored to be invited to the meeting by a close friend and to observe the work that these amazing women have been doing the past few months.”
“For highly personal reasons, I’ve been unable to join previous efforts but being asked to be a part of this celebratory moment was truly beautiful,” she said. “I’ve worked with Tessa and respect her artistry and admire her consistent candor.”
During an Instagram live on Tuesday, Dunham didn’t directly address the situation or the Time’s Up initiative, but she said she feels grateful to have had the opportunity to be “part of so many amazing moments and movements.”
“A lot of people were saying really sweet things to me on my Instagram and wanting to know how I was feeling,” she began. “The thing that I wanted to say was just that, you know, when you’ve had this job for as long as I have, which is seven or eight years now, and you’ve caused some mayhem at times, the internet doesn’t necessarily have the same power that it used to.”
“When you’ve had this job for as long as I have, you love and admire and are so grateful for the people who show you care,” she continued. “You feel so much gratitude for the care and passion that’s shown to you by the people who admire your work and the rest of the people kind of melt away, because they’re pixels and you’ve got to know what’s in your own heart.”
“I just feel so lucky that I’ve gotten to be a part of so many amazing moments and movements in my career,” she added. “And I feel really at peace with the fact that there are moments when you are the hero and moments when you are the villain and moments when you are magic and moments when you are less magic. You know what, it’s a journey that has strengthened me in ways that are really, really powerful.”