Random House has revealed that it will alter all future versions of Lena Dunham’s book, Not That Kind of Girl, because her description of being raped in college doesn’t make it clear that ‘Barry’ is a fake name.
In the passage, Lena labels ‘Barry’ as Oberlin College’s "resident conservative" and leaves it somewhat ambiguous as to whether Barry actually raped her, but since the book's release Lena has spoken about the incident and clarified what happened.
"The chapter about date rape in the book was a really, really terrifying thing for me to put into the world because as important as the topic is - and we are also having this massive moment of cultural awareness about campus assault, which is a very gratifying thing to see and I hope it leads to incredible change - but just sort of honestly, the idea of seeing sort of, you know, the fourth-hand UK Daily Mail headline - Lena Dunham Tells All About Rape - was - it was a nightmare to me," Lena told NPR.
But the problem here isn’t that Lena spoke about her experience. In fact, coming forward was really brave. The issue now is that Lena describes Barry in great detail and there also an Oberlin alumnus also named Barry who fits her description, but he insists he never met her.
Real-life Barry’s attorney, Aaron Minc, says he has been in contact with Lena’s lawyers at Ziffren Brittenham in Los Angeles who assure him that future printings of the book will come with a disclaimer that ‘Barry’ is not the real name of the man who raped her a decade ago.
"We're not on a warpath," Barry’s attorney told The Hollywood Reporter. "We've been trying to get their attention for months. It took the threat of litigation to make them take action. We have certainly intimated that we think our client is being libeled, but we've been trying to be as reasonable as possible. The remedy to solve this issue is not necessarily legal in nature, and we recognise that. A lot of the suffering Barry was going through and was about to go through could be cured by simple, remedial action from Miss Dunham and Random House."
"We have put the change in process," Random House has since said in a statement. "The digital edition of Not That Kind of Girl will reflect that 'Barry’ is a pseudonym. Future printings of the physical book will also have that change."
Random House’s response comes off the back of conservative blog Breitbart’s investigation (we use the term ‘investigation’ VERY loosely) into the rape allegations. The site concluded: "Under scrutiny, Dunham's rape story didn’t just fall apart; it evaporated into pixie dust and blew away."
Well, maybe that’s because she never intended for anyone to be identified in the first place.