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Lena Dunham, Constance Wu make case for Hillary Clinton at Sunday panel

<p>Lena Dunham and Constance Wu visited campus Sunday for a panel discussing Hillary Clinton's presidential run.&nbsp;</p>

Lena Dunham and Constance Wu visited campus Sunday for a panel discussing Hillary Clinton's presidential run. 

Several famous actresses and activists discussed the election and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's mixed reputation among millennials at a panel Sunday. 

Organized by Lena Dunham, known for her starring role in the television series "Girls," the event touched on Clinton’s positions as a feminist and how she would support different communities. Other speakers included Constance Wu, an actress in the Asian American television series "Fresh Off the Boat," Janet Mock, a writer and transgender rights activist, comedian Aparna Nancherla and Ashley Ford, a journalist who also served as the panel’s moderator.

For several students, the event helped solidify their support for Clinton in light of recent controversy regarding her use of a private email server. 

"As expected from a pretty homogenous panel body, not much mind-blowing or really engaging discussion or debate was had,” said sophomore Justin Ching. “But I did really enjoy how some audience members asked how the panelists reconciled Hillary’s controversies with their support of her, which is something that I personally had been struggling with during the election.”

Dunham explained that she has been on the campaign trail with Clinton for more than a year and enjoyed seeing Clinton grow during the process. Some of the greatest challenges her team faced, she said, often came from fellow liberal-leaning individuals who were supporting competing candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.

Dunham said she recognized that many previous Sanders supporters hope Clinton will advocate for some of the policies he expressed during his campaign.

“What I found so beautiful about [the Sanders] campaign was the way that he had pushed American liberals forward and asked us to work for greater things,” she said. “Ultimately, when that campaign was over, so many Sanders' supporters made the decision to do what they knew was right and to gather as a political party in support of Hilary Clinton, not giving up their hard questions, not giving up their misgivings, but really saying it’s not just the lesser of two evils—she’s really worked hard and deserves our support.”

Dunham added that although Clinton has changed her public stance on policy issues and failed in several initiatives during her political career, she has never allowed these setbacks to discourage her.

For Nancherla, her upbringing and experience this election cycle have helped her understand the arguments of both parties. She added that she does not personally see eye-to-eye with Clinton on all policy issues, but that she still likes her as a candidate and does not necessarily want a perfect leader.

Wu said she was impressed by Clinton's ability to listen. 

"People are like 'Oh, she's pandering,' and I'm like, 'What the hell is wrong with listening to underserved communities to win their vote so that you can serve them better?'" she said. 

Audience members were able to ask questions after the panelists spoke. One asked how recent sexual allegations against Trump compare to rumors surrounding Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton. Several women have accused the former president of harassment, and Trump has used their stories as ammunition against both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Dunham joined other panelists in saying that she felt the general public has held Clinton to a higher standard in having to respond for her husband's actions—something she said most men would not be subjected to.

She compared the reaction to backlash Clinton aide Huma Abdein has faced in response to sexual misconduct by her husband, embattled former Rep. Anthony Weiner.

“I do think there’s incredibly unfair bias that we’ve seen with Hillary and her campaign of people trying to hold women accountable for the actions of the men in their lives,” Dunham said. “Men are not held accountable for the actions of their wives and women should not be held accountable for the actions of their husbands.”


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