Tessa Thompson Backtracks After Slamming Lena Dunham: ‘My Words Were Misinterpreted’

Tessa Thompson and Lena Dunham
Tessa Thompson and Lena Dunham Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images; Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Tessa Thompson took to twitter on Tuesday, January 9, to clarify comments she previously made about Lena Dunham’s involvement in the Time’s Up Movement. 

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“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,” the 34-year-old Thor: Ragnarok actress tweeted in a lengthy statement. “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 continued. “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.”

Thompson’s initial comments came after she posted a since-deleted photo on Instagram On Sunday, January 7, featuring several actresses, including 31-year-old Dunham, pledging support for the movement, which helps provide legal aid for victims of sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.

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After a commenter questioned Dunham’s inclusion – noting her controversial defense of Girls writer Murray Miller after he was accused of sexual assault – Thompson replied saying she was in agreement. “Lena was not anywhere present in our group during the countless hours of work for the last two months,” she wrote. “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.”

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Dunham opened up about criticism in an Instagram Live video on Tuesday. “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 it used to,” she said. “I just feel so lucky that I’ve gotten to be a part of so many amazing moments and movements in my career. I feel really at peace with the fact that there are moments where you’re the hero, moments where you’re the villain and moments where you’re magic and moments where you’re less magic. It’s a journey that has strengthened me in ways that are really, really powerful.”

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