Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson made headlines this week after for an Instagram comment pointing out that Lena Dunham, who posed for a photo celebrating the “Time’s Up” movement at the Golden Globes awards on Sunday, was not involved in the movement.
Time’s Up aims to combat sexual harassment and assault and included both the coordination of black clothes for actors at the event as well as a legal fund to help protect victims of sexual assault and harassment without the resources of movie stars. The now-deleted photo, posted to Thompson’s Instagram, included Dunham, but when commenters criticized Dunham’s defense of Girls writer Murray Miller when he was accused of raping actress Aurora Perrineau, Thompson was quick to point out:
“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 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.”
However, once the controversy hit the news cycle, Thompson deleted the Instagram photo altogether and took to Twitter to issue a clarifying statement.
“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,” Thompson wrote. “It’s perhaps more complex than that. 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,” Thompson continued. “The Time’s Up campaign is for everyone, in all capacities, contributions big and small. 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.”
For her part, in a statement issued to IndieWire, Dunham said that she was unable to take part in the planning for the Time’s Up movement due to “highly personal reason,” but that she was invited to the meeting (and photo op) by a friend.
“I 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,” Dunham said. “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. I’ve worked with Tessa and respect her artistry and admire her consistent candor.”