Once Upon A Time In Hollywood delivered Quentin Tarantino’s career-best opening last weekend in the U.S., but across the pond, the London premiere has everyone talking about something other than the movie itself. As one can see in the above photo, Lena Dunham went in for a kiss — and it looks like she was aiming for the mouth — with co-star Brad Pitt on the red carpet. Let’s just say that Pitt did not reciprocate, and the moment has sparked a vigorous discussion about consent and double standards. A Lena-style public statement on the matter may be coming soon.
Dunham, obviously, is no stranger to controversy and found herself apologizing last year (in the form of a Hollywood Reporter guest-editor letter) for defending a Girls writer who was accused of sexually assaulting a teenager. Previously, she had claimed to hold insider information that she said would prove the victim’s allegations to be untrue, and all of that history (including Dunham’s own disclosure of being raped at age 19) is resurfacing again. Here’s another photo of Lena leaning over to watch Pitt perform a fist-bump move with Tarantino.
On a not-unrelated note, Dunham appeared last October on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and related an anecdote about how she flashed her underwear at Pitt “between takes” while he was working on lines for this movie. She then stated that this happened for a non-sexual reason, which was to show other cast members her “kewpie doll” tattoo during a discussion about kewpie dolls. Dunham added that her publicist was not pleased and instructed her client not to show her underwear to Kimmel’s audience. Despite Dunham’s explanation, none of this presents a good look.
People are now incensed over this entire fiasco and pointing out the double standard involved. They’re concluding that a man who kissed a woman without consent on the red carpet would likely be accused of sexual misconduct, rather than people either laughing or saying that Dunham pulled a gutsy move (a few outlets have taken that perspective). Dunham’s tendency to fire off lengthy columns on these issues has not gone unmentioned on Twitter as well.
If Brad Pitt did to Margot Robbie what Lena Dunham did to him on the red carpet, Dunham would write a 3,000-word essay about consent
— Michelle Bruton (@MichelleBruton) August 1, 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
Just read an article about Lena Dunham "having balls" because she planted an unsolicited kiss on Brad Pitt. I'm gonna say if she DID have balls, the headline would read quite different. Assuming the words #metoo would be used. #DoubleStandards
— Jennifer Churchich 🦋 (@RealJenChurch) July 31, 2019
This is only being covered by celeb gossip rags, and none of them are saying this, but this isn't ok at all. You don't kiss people on the mouth without consent. He was obviously uncomfortable, and turned away to dodge the kiss.https://t.co/orX3W2c4EZ
— Kelly Ellis (@justkelly_ok) August 1, 2019
— JoeBOBaHead (@JoeBOBaHead) July 31, 2019
Why are people applauding Lena Dunham for her ‘courage’ for sexually assaulting Brad Pitt IN PUBLIC. People love to talk about equal rights but never being held to equal standards, if I man had did this the media and the court of public opinion would be livid. #DoubleStandards pic.twitter.com/De4Jt53Vjw
— Raddwimps (@KawaiiSenpaiiH) August 1, 2019
Brad Pitt on the red carpet: pic.twitter.com/hhgBRC4JpX
— Evan Wintersteen (@evanwintersteen) August 2, 2019
Please don't sexually assault Brad Pitt.
— Clown World Zoomer (@kekistaniite) August 2, 2019
— Zachary Leeman (@WritingLeeman) July 31, 2019
It seems flippant to suggest that Dunham might be penning a response column as we speak, but there’s a good chance that it’s happening.