In a recent edition of her newsletter Lenny, Girls star Lena Dunham wrote about how when she first started working in Hollywood at age 26, she grew increasingly scared of speaking her mind, knowing she would receive some thoughtful comments but also be vilified by the internet.
"I was frozen with fear of offending people whose opinions I trusted and anger at being harassed," she wrote. "And I wasn't sure how I could continue to persist as a public voice when the voice in my head was so addled."
While Dunham has learned how to navigate that balance, she just spoke out about a very controversial topic that's sure to elicit a reaction. In a Facebook post, the actress wrote a long entry about how deeply uncomfortable she is with Kanye West's new video for his song Famous, which features images of naked celebrities all sleeping together on a bed, twisted in sheets.
The song attracted controversy as soon as it was released earlier this year, because it features a line about West's longtime nemesis/sometimes pal Taylor Swift: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that b**** famous."
This has been the source of much fighting between the West and Swift camps: West (and his wife, Kim Kardashian) insist that Swift knew about the line in advance, thought it was funny and gave her blessing. Swift's rep has vehemently denied this, saying Swift would have never approved such a misogynistic line.
Continuing West's apparent Swift fixation, the pop star is featured as one of the nude stars in the video; the whole thing is an homage to painter Vincent Desiderio's Sleep.
The video also shows naked shots of stars such as West, Kardashian, Amber Rose, Anna Wintour, Chris Brown, Caitlyn Jenner, Ray J, Rihanna, Bill Cosby and Donald Trump.
Back to Dunham: The actress, one of Swift's close friends, specifically takes issue with the "unconscious, waxy bodies of famous women" portrayed in the video, which she calls "one of the more disturbing 'artistic' efforts in recent memory.
"At the same time Brock Turner is getting off with a light tap for raping an unconscious woman and photographing her breasts for a group chat ... ... While Bill Cosby's crimes are still being uncovered and understood as traumas for the women he assaulted but also massive bruises to our national consciousness ... Now I have to see the prone, unconscious, waxy bodies of famous women, twisted like they've been drugged and chucked aside at a rager?" Dunham wrote. "It gives me ... a sickening sense of dis-ease."
Dunham adds she's sure there's a deeper meaning behind the Cosby and Trump images, and there's probably a hip, cool reaction she should have. But she doesn't.
"I don't have a hip, cool reaction, because seeing a ... woman I admire like Rihanna or Anna reduced to a pair of waxy breasts made by some special effects guy in the Valley, it makes me feel sad and unsafe and worried for the teenage girls who watch this and may not understand that grainy roving camera as the stuff of snuff films," Dunham wrote.
In an interview with Vanity Fair after the video's premiere last week, West declined to get into specifics about the Swift image.
"It's not in support or anti any of" the people in the video, West said when asked about the inclusion of Cosby. "It's a comment on fame."