"My latest podcast episode was meant to tell a multifaceted story about reproductive choice in America," wrote Dunham. "I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won't diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated."
Outrage over the comedian's distasteful joke focused on the line: "Now I can say that I still haven't had an abortion, but I wish I had."
My latest podcast episode was meant to tell a multifaceted story about reproductive choice in America, to explain the many reasons women do or don't choose to have children and what bodily autonomy really means. I'm so proud of the medley of voices in the episode. I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won't diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated. My words were spoken from a sort of "delusional girl" persona I often inhabit, a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance (that's what my TV show is too) and it didn't translate. That's my fault. I would never, ever intentionally trivialize the emotional and physical challenges of terminating a pregnancy. My only goal is to increase awareness and decrease stigma. I take reproductive choice in America more seriously than I take literally anything else, and therefore own full responsibility for any words I speak that don't convey this truth clearly. I know plenty of people will never like a thing that leaves my lips, mea culpas or no, but this apology is for the women who have placed their trust in me. You mean everything to me. My life is and always will be devoted to reproductive justice and freedom. You know how in some households you curse and have to put money in a jar? Well in mine, if you mess up your pro-choice messaging you have to give a sizable donation to abortion funds (https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion) in New York, Texas and Ohio 💰I look forward to fighting with you all for the next four years and beyond.
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During Dunham's mea culpa about the abortion comments, which you can read in full above, she explained that her joke came from a "sort of 'delusional girl' persona I often inhabit, a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance (that's what my TV show is, too) and it didn't translate."
"That's my fault," she added.
Anytime a comedian has to justify a joke by explaining it, it's safe to assume the joke really sucked. In this case, the comedian had to explain the entire foundation of her comedic career to justify it—so, yikes.
Lena Dunham will make a "sizable donation to abortion funds" in lieu of tipping the swear jar or sacrificing a small animal to the gods of internet backlash.