Fashion

12.22.13

Lena Dunham Calls Out R. Kelly on Twitter

When Dunham called out R. Kelly for his "predatory behavior," critics replied, naming the actress a hypocrite for her friendship with photographer Terry Richardson, and questioning her validity as a modern day feminist.

Lena Dunham has never been afraid to speak her mind, so it's no surprise that she took to Twitter to publicly express her fury towards the countless rape allegations against R. Kelly. Dunham tweeted on December 18, "The debates about good and bad feminism makes me want to take a nap for a year," followed by "Nothing pains me more than when something like the R. Kelly convo comes to light and women turn on each other."

Rather than receiving praise for seemingly speaking out on behalf of women everywhere -- and expressing that any man who takes advantage of a woman "sickens" her -- Dunham was instead called a hypocrite. Others even questioned her validity as a modern day feminist.

Many critics -- including Slate's Amanda Hess -- call out Dunham for her professional and personal relationship with photographer Terry Richardson, who, as Refinery29's Lexi Nisita writes, is himself "a man not immune to accusations and sex crimes, including inappropriate behavior with young models." Yet despite the countless allegations against Richardson -- for example, model Jamie Peck claimed Richardson asked her while she was menstruating to "take out her tampon so he could play with it, and make 'tampon tea'" -- he continues to maintain photographic acclaim within the fashion and entertainment industries, and has worked with the likes of Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Gloria Steinem.  

However, like R. Kelly, Richardson has been seemingly forgiven for his questionable past. But really, Nisita asks, Richardson should be the one facing backlash instead of Dunham, no? Regardless, Dunham responded to criticism in a series of tweets that read: "Someone implied my statement about R. Kelly was invalid because I've had my photograph taken by Terry Richadson;" "Feminism is never a matter of convenience, not for me and I hope not for anyone I admire;" and "Any man who takes advantage of any woman sickens me. That's all and that's always. No debate." And although it may be right to question her 'friendship' with Richardson, debunking her feminist morals based on one relationship is just plain wrong.

"I want to recognize how freaking complex it is to be female right now, aka VERY," Dunham wrote.

We hear you, sister. [Refinery29]