If you've been paying attention to the wide world of pop culture, you'll know that R Kelly is finally earning attention for his long history of (alleged) sexual harassment and assault thanks to a piece by the Village Voice. So that being said, the question of why women — like Lady Gaga — continue to work with him has come up. This time, courtesy of Amanda Hess, writing for Slate.
However, Hess didn't say women should altogether stop working with the likes of Chris Brown, R Kelly, and Terry Richardson. Why? Because years after Katherine Hiegl called Knocked Up "a little bit sexist," she's still considered difficult to work with. All-out boycotts just aren't realistic. (Unless literally every person participated.)
But that said, Hess did go on to point a few fingers — particularly at Lena Dunham who criticized R Kelly, while Dunham herself has worked with Terry Richardson (a photographer renowned for his history of alleged assault, harassment, and being totally gross) (seriously don't read his interviews unless you want to feel sick). That's when Lena Dunham took to Twitter to defend herself, and to say her choice to have collaborated with Richardson does not nullify the crimes of Kelly.
"As a young woman in this business, you are placed in immeasurable numbers of situations that test you," she tweeted. "I respectfully want to note that trying to point out cracks in my feminist politics isn't super constructive. Feminism is never a matter of convenience, not for me, and I hope not for anyone I admire. That being said, aspects of this article really spoke to me and I'm so glad this conversation is happening. Nothing pains me more than when something like the R Kelly convo comes to light and women turn on each other."
To which Hess responded: "I don't think any of it is convenience, or cracks — just that the industry makes it impossible to thrive and live by an ideal."
"Believe me, that's all too real and I'm glad you're discussing it," answered Dunham. "I rarely respond to an online kerfuffle, but the idea that 1 shoot rendered my outrage at rape null . . . was so unsettling to me."
You can read the rest of their conversation right here. And please weigh in below. The more we talk about things like this here, the more we talk about them outside and among others as well.