New York Giants player Odell Beckham Jr has responded to Lena Dunham's "sexist" comments regarding their attendance of the Met Ball 2016. The Girls creator accused the NFL star of ignoring her at the prestigious New York fashion event because, she says, he did not find her sexually attractive.
Dunham, 30, received heaps of criticism for claiming Beckham Jr, 23, was only interested in speaking to her if their encounter turned sexual. The actor wrote in her Lenny newsletter: "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."
Responding to her comments, which have caused great offence amongst social-media critics, Beckham Jr told Complex: "I don't have enough information to really speak on it. We'll see what happens from there. I never want any problems with anybody in this world."
Dunham continued: "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 cellphone'. 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."
Dunham was promptly slammed for her comments, with one critic tweeting: "WOW! If a guy wrote that about a woman you'd be all over him saying how sexist he is. Can you say DOUBLE STANDARD?" while another chimed in: "The power that Lena Dunham wields in shaming people for not finding her attractive is seriously the weirdest feminist thing yet."
One other said: "Lena dunham projects her own insecurities on to a black man and creates an imaginary scenario to victimise herself."
The actor later issued an apology via Instagram claiming she feels aesthetically inadequate compared with other female celebrities at industry events. Dunham wrote: "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."
She continued: "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-sexualisation of black male bodies – as well as false accusations by white women towards black men."