Time’s Up for Lena Dunham in the Ranks of the Sisterhood

Harvey Weinstein Fallout, Exhibit Umpteen:

A group of high-profile show business women have formed a group called Time’s Up, which describes itself as “a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere.” New York Times culture reporter Cara Buckley writes it up in today’s paper.

300 Strong: Hollywood Women Unite to Fight Harassment

Driven by outrage and a resolve to correct a power imbalance that seemed intractable just months ago, 300 prominent actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives have formed an ambitious, sprawling initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and in blue-collar workplaces nationwide . . .

Called Time’s Up, the movement was announced on Monday with an impassioned pledge of support to working-class women in an open letter signed by hundreds of women in show business, many of them A-listers. The letter also ran as a full-page ad in The New York Times, and in La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper.

Here’s the ad (apologies for the poor reproduction – the Times Replica Edition is still on the fritz.)

(The Times helpfully provides the text of the letter here.)

The signers are listed in alphabetical order by first name; here are the L’s.

Conspicuous by her absence: Lena (Bad News) Dunham

James Wolcott’s Vanity Fair piece last month gives some indication why.

Can Lena Dunham Recover from Her High-Profile Mistakes?

How do you solve a problem like Lena? It may not be the most pressing musical question before the nation, yet it must be addressed, otherwise Lena Dunham—writer, director, actor, essayist, memoirist, and varsity-league exhibitionist—will persist in being an irksome source of distraction, like a moth flapping against a bare lightbulb. If Noël Coward possessed a talent to amuse, Dunham has a knack to annoy. Every few months she perpetrates a gaffe or lets pop a sound bite that gives social media a fiery rash and sets off a tribal war dance, and these cycles of outrage do grow wearisome. Worse, for her, each cycle erodes the value of Dunham’s personal and creative brand, her actual output receding into the background as her prominence as the millennial generation’s needless uproar generator blunders to the fore. She’s in no immediate danger of having her work and livelihood flushed overboard, but she is flirting with radioactivity. She has become problematic with a capital P.

Ouch. Walcott goes on to say, “The inspirational selling points of her individual journey are being flipped against her, which is hard to defend. What was once sold as quirky and individualistic is now attacked as tone-deaf and pampered, a by-product of cushy white privilege.”

Apparently, that’s not the sort if resumé Time’s Up is accepting right now.

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7 Responses to Time’s Up for Lena Dunham in the Ranks of the Sisterhood

  1. Robert Gardner says:


    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Yes, Robert – and your question is . . . ?

      • Robert Gardner says:

        I get the part about Noel Coward being amusing, since I imagine that James Wolcott’s father, a theatre critic, may have passed that information to his son.
        But the rest? Is there some special significance about this petition? Are there other petitions with Lena Dunham’s name? Without her name? Is Wolcott even making a claim about Dunham not signing this petition? Is anyone saying whether she was asked to sign and refused? Or that she was not asked? Or is refusing to sign all petitions? Or is not being asked to sign any petitions? Or is the victim of mixed metaphors, like a Problematic moth flitting against a light bulb and becoming radioactive? Is this a behavior that moths engage in every few months? In between times, should moths even sign petitions? If a moth signs a petition in a forest, and nobody hears it, is it still radioactive? Or just Problematic?
        Just “?”

      • Campaign Outsider says:

        Thanks, Robert. I now understand your bewilderment (perhaps tinged a bit by cabin fever?).

        What I failed to make clear in that post:

        Under normal circumstances, Lena Dunham would have been on the Time’s Up roster like Brown on Williamson.

        Except . . .

        Via the New York Post:

        Lena Dunham may be the first person to fabricate details of her alleged rape, then proclaim all women’s claims need to be believed, and then publicly accuse a young woman of lying about having been raped.

        Because the claim involved someone who worked with Dunham.

        Since then she’s moonwalked on that accusation, but Dunham is nonetheless toxic in feminist circles now.

        Thus, my post.

        The James Wolcott link was just window dressing.

        All best.

  2. Robert Gardner says:

    My cabin fever is that obvious? I gotta shovel out.

  3. Pingback: We Time’s-Upped Lena Dunham Way Before The Sisters Did | Campaign Outsider

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