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Zinzi Clemmons, a writer for Lena Dunham and Jenny Konner's Lenny Letter, announced her resignation on Sunday in the wake of the women's statement in defense of "Girls" writer-producer Murray Miller, whom actress Aurora Perrineau has accused of rape.
"For all you writers who are outraged about what she did, I encourage you to do the same," Clemmons wrote in a statement posted on social media Sunday. "Especially women of color. She cannot have our words if she cannot respect us."
Dunham and Konner had defended Miller in a statement to Variety on Friday, saying, "While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year."
Miller, through his attorney, told the publication that he "categorically and vehemently denies Ms. Perrineau’s outrageous claims." Perrineau confirmed to the Wrap on Friday that she had filed a report with law enforcement alleging Miller had nonconsensual sex with her in 2012, when she was 17.
Dunham has since apologized for defending Miller.
"I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend's situation as it has transpired behind the scenes over the last few months," she said in a statement Saturday on Twitter. "I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement."
Clemmons, however, said that Perrineau's allegation left her "overcome with emotion" because when she and Dunham "ran in the same circles in college," Clemmons had a friend who was a victim of sexual assault that wasn't reported because the alleged perpetrator was an influential member of Dunham's peer group.
"Back in college, I avoided these people like the plague because of their well-known racism," Clemmons said. "I'd call their strain 'hipster racism,' which typically uses sarcasm as a cover, and in the end, it looks a lot like gaslighting — 'It's just a joke. Why are you overreacting?' is a common response to these kind of statements."
Clemmons urged other writers to "hold Lena accountable," even if it meant financial sacrifice. Here's her full statement: