Dunham and Beckham Jr. sat at the same table, but he chose not to speak to her.
"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," the 30-year-old said in her conversation with Schumer. "He was like, 'That's a marshmallow. That's a child. That’s a dog.' It wasn't mean — he just seemed confused."
Of course, Dunham didn't stop at placing words that the football star never said in his mouth.
"The vibe was very much like, 'Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it's wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.' 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. I was like, 'This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.'"
Here's the thing: Odell Beckham Jr. doesn't owe Lena Dunham a fucking thing, including a conversation, a hug, or even acknowledgement. Furthermore, implying that men, especially Black men, are only interested in holding conversations with women they're sexually attracted to is archaic.
If Dunham is uninterested in being objectified, why care if a star athlete speaks to her or views her as fuck-able? Oh, and introductions can be mutual. She easily could've said hello to Beckham rather than expecting him to initiate conversation.
The internet immediately responded to this clusterfuck of insecurity, privilege, and the overt generalizations of Black male athletes.
The "Girls" creator eventually issued an apology for her racially-charged rhetoric after being bombarded with criticism and having a conversation with director Xavier Burgin.
In her book "Photography on the Color Line," professor Shawn Michelle Smith argues that preserving "white racial purity" served as the catalyst for lynching.
"The figure of a threatened or raped white woman, evoked as the innocent victim of a 'terrible crime,' was conjured in attempts to justify lynching as the 'understandable' retribution of white fathers, brothers, and lovers," Smith wrote.
Dr. Lisa Lindquist-Dorr, associate professor at the University of Alabama, wrote in her book "White Women, Rape, and the Power of Race in Virginia, 1900-1960" that whites used the myth of the brutal Black man to justify oppression and killing. She told The Huffington Post that framing white women as virginal trophies to be desired only lends itself to this harmful myth.
"Sexual access to women is a trophy of power," Lindquist-Dorr said. "White women embodied virtue and morality, they signified whiteness and white superiority, so sexual access to white women was possessing the ultimate privilege that white men held. It [also] makes women trophies to be traded among men."
The idea that Black men have a propensity for attacking and raping white women cost thousands their lives.
There's Emmett Till, a 14-year-old pulled from a bed in Mississippi in 1955, beaten, mutilated, shot, and tossed into a river with a barbed-wire cotton gin tied around his neck. He'd been accused of whistling at a white woman.
George Stinney Jr. is the youngest person America executed in modern times. The state of South Carolina executed Stinney in 1944 after an all-white jury found him guilty of murdering a white teen girl. He was 14. It took until 2014 for him to be exonerated of the crime.
A white mob burned down the all-Black town of Rosewood, Florida in 1923 based on the rumor of a Black man sexually assaulting a white woman. The Tulsa, Oklahoma race riot of 1921 started when a white girl accused a Black teenager of attacking her in an elevator. White Oklahomans burned a predominantly-Black and affluent section of Tulsa to the ground.
Though we are decades removed from Jim Crow, the stereotypes that allowed lynching to occur en masse still persists: Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old accused of fatally-shooting nine church parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, allegedly told his victims, "You rape our women, and you're taking over our country, and you have to go."
Dunham's conceptualization of Beckham still perpetuates the lie that Black men's bodies must be controlled to protect white women.
The "Tiny Furniture" creator acknowledged this dark history in her apology to Beckham, who has yet to respond.
"I would never intentionally contribute to a long and often violent history of the over-sexualization of Black male bodies — as well as false accusations by white women towards Black men," she wrote in her caption.
While it appears that Dunham realizes her error after being called out for the umpteenth time, history is too fraught with trauma for such gross missteps.