Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother.” Those workers eating lunch on a beam suspended in the New York sky. That one photo of a cat holding onto a ledge with the phrase “Hang in there!” written above it. These are the photos that capture the rich history of American culture. And that is precisely why I come to you with this piece of art. Getty Images calls this piece “Image #1165176338.” I have renamed it “Lena Dunham’s Next Apology.” The scene features GIRLS creator Lena Dunham going in for an open mouth kiss from Brad Pitt, who decidedly is not ready for an open mouth kiss, at the London premiere of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Aside from the fact that this appears to be problematic in a number of ways, the photo is also objectively awkward. Step back from your screen, cross your arms, turn your head, and marvel at it. There’s so much to discuss.
1. Has Lena Dunham read any news about why it’s not good to try to be intimate with coworkers?
2. Perhaps someone should show her this photo and try to explain that concept again.
3. Which muppet died so that Lena Dunham could walk the red carpet in this dress?
4. Where was Brad Pitt heading when his face was intercepted by this exchange?
5. Is that look of abject terror on Leonardo DiCaprio’s face in response to the events unfolding in front of him?
6. Can you imagine being judged by Leonardo DiCaprio, serial dater and king of the young girlfriend club?
7. Has Margot Robbie even clocked what’s going on in front of her?
8. Can you imagine Brad Pitt ever watching an episode of GIRLS?
9. Was the intention always to open-eye-open-mouth kiss Brad Pitt?
10. Was that strategy misguidedly taken from the Friday Night Lights refrain, “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose?”
11. Isn’t Lena Dunham only in Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood for a few minutes?
12. Who gave her this access? This power?
13. Seriously though, what were the motivations that led to this because he’s clearly not even making eye contact with her.
14. The optimist in me likes to believe that perhaps Lena Dunham was simply in Europe, got French and British culture mixed up, and was trying to kiss him on the cheek to say hello.
15. But then I see she tweeted this and feel pretty confident that’s not the case.
16. So, at what point do we address that Lena Dunham should be left off the guest list to these things?
17. Has Damian Lewis ever heard the phrase, “If you see something, say something?”
18. Poor Brad. He’s very clearly headed in another direction. Maybe to check in with Tarantino or something.
19. Why the aggressive arms, Lena? He’s on the red carpet. He’s not going anywhere.
20. Lena Dunham really might be incapable of just attending a damn event and acting like a normal human.
21. In other photos, Dunham has a full four person buffer between her and Pitt. How did she jump over there?
22. Can we all just agree moving forward that the best move is to not kiss coworkers, or at minimum, don’t ambush them with our mouths?
23. And while we’re at it, can we mark a day—your choosing—where we address the rules of sexual assault and general public decorum, spread out some pamphlets, and quit apologizing for these “learning moments.”
24. Because it’s about time we start getting educated so we stop having to apologize so much.
25. Especially when one of those more recent apologies follows Dunham not believing a sexual assault survivor.
26. On top of admitting to lying to discredit the accuser, Aurora Perrineau. So seriously—surprise acts of affection aren’t a great territory to wade into here.
27. We all have crushes, but we don’t kiss them in big public moments for… a lot of reasons, but in this case, common manners.
28. The final lesson to learn here is that no matter how innocuous it may seem, get consent (and eye contact) before coming in hot for an open-mouther.
29. And if you or anyone you know feels brave enough to pair hairy fringe with metallic colored fabric, don’t.
30. Damn it. I just clocked the cat tattoo. Now I can’t stop thinking about the CATS trailer.