Lena Dunham and Ex-Producing Partner Shut Down Lenny Letter


The twice-weekly newsletter, which expanded into a website soon after its debut, focused on issues like women’s health, gun violence and sexual harassment. Contributors included Michelle Obama, the feminist writer Roxane Gay and the actress Julianne Moore. In 2015, the Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence wrote one of Lenny Letter’s most attention-grabbing stories, “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?”

According to promotional materials reviewed by The Times, Lenny Letter had 350,000 subscribers, 150,000 fewer than the figure cited in a July 2017 article about its success.

Lenny Letter also produced two podcasts — “Women of the Hour” and “Lenny Says” — and a short-lived video initiative that featured, among other things, Ms. Dunham interviewing Hillary Clinton. Along the way, it established partnerships centered on advertising sales and other services with two major media companies, Hearst Magazines and Condé Nast.

Last November, a Lenny Letter contributor, Zinzi Clemmons, announced that she would no longer write for the publication after Ms. Dunham and Ms. Konner released a statement in support of Murray Miller, a writer for “Girls” who had been accused of sexual assault.

“It is time for women of color — black women in particular — to divest from Lena Dunham,” Ms. Clemmons wrote on Twitter.

After her initial defense of Mr. Miller attracted a social media backlash, Ms. Dunham posted a lengthy apology on Twitter. In August, the Los Angeles district attorney’s office said in a court filing that it would not press charges against Mr. Miller.

In their farewell note, Ms. Dunham, Ms. Konner and Ms. Elizalde expressed pride in their work.

“We trust that Lenny’s mission to amplify unheard voices and the complexities of the female experience will roar even louder inside (and outside) each of you,” they wrote.


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