It seems like any time Lena Dunham is in the news, controversy ensues. The Girls star is once again making headlines for her awkward public antics, and this time, it involves Brad Pitt and sexual harassment, because of course it does.
At the London premiere for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Pitt and Dunham appeared together on the red carpet. In the Quentin Tarantino-directed film, Pitt plays a stunt double and Dunham plays a member of the Charles Manson’s cult. While posing for the camera, Dunham plants a kiss onto Pitt, who looks extremely unenthused about being on the receiving end.
In the photo, Pitt isn’t even looking at Dunham, who has her arms wrapped around him as she reaches toward his face. He looks surprised at the kiss, if not weirded out, while Dunham attempts to dominate the photograph.
Lena Dunham decides it’s okay to go in for a kiss with Brad Pitt, as Leo tries to ignore the whole thing. pic.twitter.com/oH66nhpYnT— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) July 31, 2019
As many on social media pointed out, this photo speaks to Dunham’s thoroughly-covered lack of personal boundaries. Sure, our culture revolves around oversharing and being as ~relatable~ as possible, but that’s no excuse for crossing the boundaries of others. Did she really need to kiss Pitt on the red carpet? Of course not.
Did she do it to be shocking, or attempt to achieve every commoner’s dream of kissing a famous Hollywood star? Definitely. Neither reason is a good look, because it infringes on Pitt’s right to work the red carpet without being touched — by photographers, fans, and yes, his costars.
When someone acts in an unwanted sexual manner with anyone, it is sexual harassment. Period. it doesn’t matter what gender the abuser and victims are.
We’re not saying the Dunham is abusive, but we are saying that by not obtaining consent from Pitt before a kiss, it’s sexual harassment, and not cool at all. We’re reminded of the famous Victory Parade photo from the end of the World War 2, where a solder returning home kisses a random nurse on the street. As the years have gone by, we’ve come to understand that the photo depicts a sexual assault; the nurse herself in the photo, Greta Zimmer Friedman, said that the kiss was unwanted.
Reverse the roles with Pitt and Dunham, and it seems clear that she crossed a line. On social media, folks agreed that if Pitt had kissed Dunham instead, we’d be having a much different conversation. Twitter user @ztsamudzi made the excellent point that men’s personal spaces are just as important and women’s space, and it’s not a good look for the #MeToo movement if that is ignored.
And I say white woman because it’s no way a non-white woman could endure a fraction of the shitstorm stirred up by the things she says and does.— inorganic african feminist (@ztsamudzi) August 2, 2019
Anyway it’s not great for this whole anti-patriarchy thing we’re trying to do if we keep acting like men are inviolable or there’s something infantilizingly cute or non-threatening about white womanhood.— inorganic african feminist (@ztsamudzi) August 2, 2019
I'm sorry but Lena Dunham just assaulted Brad Pitt and I'm unamused about the lack of narrative here https://t.co/JTMSiHB9Wy— CJ ✨ #GrannyGolem #TSOS (@CJPendragon) August 1, 2019
Ew. Lena Dunham just keeps getting worse. If *any* man did this to a woman on a red carpet, they’d be publicly pilloried and likely lose their job. Instead Lena Dunham gets a cutesy article full of praise & compliments for her “balls of steel.” Gross. https://t.co/oZmBYpPHkI— Heather Lawver (@LawverSays) July 31, 2019
Ok so @/lenadunham is done for, right? Trying to kiss someone w/o consent is definitely attempted sexual assault + she did it to Brad fucking Pitt— Cydney Thee My Little Pony? (@The_GothDaddy) August 1, 2019
So imma need every Shannon, Sharon and Samantha to lose their white lady shit over it please, we need this predator out of hollywood
She’s… awful. And you’re right that if she were a man, she’d rightfully be getting shit. But WW mediocrity shields her, and I will never understand why.
— Polish Puritan (@DoctorCiocio) August 2, 2019
She has the confidence and racism of a creepy man
— Princess Jimenez (@PrincessJB87) August 2, 2019