Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter publication has infiltrated many an inbox since it was launched in 2015 by the Girls creator and her longtime collaborator Jenni Konner. Yesterday, the New York Post reported that its time had come to an end, with operations ceasing on Friday. This was confirmed earlier today by a statement posted to the Lenny Letter website by Dunham, Konner, and creative director Molly Elizalde.
It reads, in part:
In the three years since we began, the Internet has opened up for underrepresented writers in ways we wouldn’t have predicted or believed from our 2015 bunker. It was an honor to be part of that brigade, and we can’t wait to see how those who forged that path keep holding space after Lenny is gone.
While there’s no one reason for our closure, this change allows for growth and a shift in perspectives — ours and yours. But can we ask one favor? Please, continue to push forward the voices that need a platform, the untold stories that deserve to be heard, the diversity that the publishing industry claims to value but has never mastered.
Lenny Letter began as a twice-weekly newsletter, its articles on women’s topics—some written by the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Alicia Keys—eventually drawing roughly half a million subscribers. The Post reports, however, that those numbers have fallen “precipitously” since the summer of 2017. In November of the same year, one-time Lenny Letter contributor Zinzi Clemmons called for “women of color—black women in particular—to divest from Lena Dunham” in the wake of Dunham’s response to sexual assault allegations lodged against Girls writer Murray Miller.
Apparently, the project struggled for ad support, despite deals with both Hearst Digital Media and Condé Nast. Freelancers were told earlier this week that they’d receive “kill fees” for any written works that had yet to be published on the site.