Lena Dunham issues open apology to Odell Beckham Jr. for Met Gala remarks

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Girls creator Lena Dunham wound up backtracking from a criticism she lodged against New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for ignoring her at the Met Gala earlier this spring in her Lenny Letter newsletter. As part of her interview, published Friday, with Amy Schumer about her new book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, which gives a fun shoutout to former Real Housewives of New Jersey star Caroline Manzo, Lena said of her tuxedo outfit at the famed fashionista event:

I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, “That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.” It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused.

The vibe was very much like, “Do I want to f–k it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.” It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, “This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.”

Needless to say, she faced a lot of backlash on social media for making assumptions about what he was thinking:

Only one day later, Lena issued apologizes on both Twitter and Instagram, writing in a photo caption, “I went ahead and projected these insecurities and made totally narcissistic assumptions about what he was thinking, then presented those assumptions as facts. I feel terrible about it. Because after listening to lots of valid criticism, I see how unfair it is to ascribe misogynistic thoughts to someone I don’t know AT ALL.”

I owe Odell Beckham Jr an apology. Despite my moments of bravado, I struggle at industry events (and in life) with the sense that I don't rep a certain standard of beauty and so when I show up to the Met Ball surrounded by models and swan-like actresses it's hard not to feel like a sack of flaming garbage. This felt especially intense with a handsome athlete as my dinner companion and a bunch of women I was sure he'd rather be seated with. But I went ahead and projected these insecurities and made totally narcissistic assumptions about what he was thinking, then presented those assumptions as facts. I feel terrible about it. Because after listening to lots of valid criticism, I see how unfair it is to ascribe misogynistic thoughts to someone I don't know AT ALL. Like, we have never met, I have no idea the kind of day he's having or what his truth is. But most importantly, I would never intentionally contribute to a long and often violent history of the over-sexualization of black male bodies- as well as false accusations by white women towards black men. I'm so sorry, particularly to OBJ, who has every right to be on his cell phone. The fact is I don't know about his state of mind (I don't know a lot of things) and I shouldn't have acted like I did. Much love and thanks, Lena

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

On a positive note, Lena, whose boyfriend is musician and Bergenfield native Jack Antonoff, revealed some interesting television trivia: back in the day, Amy had auditioned to play Shoshanna on Girls a year before she launched Inside Amy Schumer. The role wound up going to Zosia Mamet, daughter of famed playwright and director David Mamet.

I interview my sister my mother my baby child my heroine @amyschumer today on @lennyletter!!!

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

The two met during that audition close to six years ago and are now close pals. In her introduction to the Q&A, which covered body image, fashion, Internet trolls, politics, gun control, and Schumer’s own recent brush with controversy over one of her shows writers, Lena praised Amy as a comedian, feminist and friend, writing:

It would be easy as pie to write an ode to what Amy Schumer has done for comedy over the past five years, for storytelling and for the grand old cause of feminism. She’s made issues our foremothers fought in vain to bring to popular attention into an easy part of our national vocabulary, all the while causing us to spit milk from our noses with giddy laughter. She’s asked tough questions and never shied away from the answers. But I feel way more equipped — and excited — to explain who Amy is as a friend, and that’s exactly who every woman who connects with her work hopes she would be. She is fiercely loyal, as protective as any Long Island soccer mom, as loving as a hospice nurse. She’s the person holding the cup of water at the end of the marathon, because she knows what hard work and tough times look and feel like.

Their admiration is certainly mutual; on Twitter, Amy called Lena her “sister in arms.”

Lena Dunham with Amy Schumer at a 2014 book signing for Lena's book Not That Kind of GirlPhoto by Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Lena Dunham with Amy Schumer at a 2014 book signing for Lena’s book Not That Kind of Girl