Melissa Joan Hart Shares Why She Decided to Publicly Shut Down Lena Dunham Feud Rumors (Exclusive)

Melissa Joan Hart and Lena Dunham
Steve Granitz/FilmMagic/Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Dunham, for her part, has not addressed the feud rumors.

Melissa Joan Hart is setting the record straight on her rumored feud with Lena Dunham. ET spoke to Hart ahead of the release of her new Lifetime Christmas movie, Santa Bootcamp, where she shared why it was important for her to publicly shut down any rumblings of a reported rift between the pair.

"I don't even think I've ever met Lena Dunham, and somehow, my friends have been telling me there is a feud between us, and I got so many texts about it that I was like, I think I have to say something about this, I don't know if a lot of people know this whole thing," Hart said. "But then I went down deep, dark rabbit hole, I decided to join Reddit, and that was a mistake. I looked at what people were saying about me, and I was like *gags* -- I had to take a break. I had to step away because, apparently, I don't even understand it."

"Luckily, my fans have always been -- the people that come to see me at Comic-Cons, the people that respond on my social media, have always been lovely, and I feel like people really protect me. I really have a fan base that feels like they grew up with me and is very protective and lovely towards me."

While Hart said it's rare that she finds hate spewed her way, she did dig deep to find out the root of the rumor before squashing it once and for all.

"It’s rare that I find that hate. I don't seek it out, but I certainly did recently, just to see if there was there something that I did say," Hart added. Why would I say something about it? I've never mentioned her, I've never crossed paths with her. So, it’s just bizarre how social media or the media, in general, can just take something and spin it out."

Hart took to Instagram last week after a Deuxmoi post claimed she and Dunham were at odds -- a feud they said started during a dinner party over an argument about child drag queens.

"So, I don't normally pay any attention to the tabloid rumor mill, but numerous friends have asked me about my 'rivalry' with @lenadunham and I'm truly confused. We have no 'beef,' and as far as I remember we haven't even had the pleasure of meeting let alone having enough of a relationship to warrant any time to discuss drag queens," the Sabrina the Teenage Witch alum wrote. "Don't let them get you with flashy links as they pretend to give you hot gossip that doesn't exist. I'm a fan of Lena's work and all that she does to support females in our industry and hope to share a latte someday."

"Please be careful not to get caught up in the hateful rhetoric of these sites that promote division and spew crap to make a profit," she added.

Dunham, for her part, has not addressed the feud rumors.

While Hart stepped in front of the drama on social media, she's stepping behind the camera in her new film, which sees screen legend Rita Moreno and The Walking Dead's Emily Kinney headlining the yuletide tale.

The movie follows event planner Emily Strauss (Kinney), who is hired by mall magnate Ed Mancini (Patrick Cassidy) to stage the ultimate Christmas gala for his most important investors. Soon, Emily finds herself being sent to boot camp -- Santa boot camp, that is -- to find the perfect Santa and the inspiration she will need to make the evening a success. While there, Emily meets Belle (Moreno), the boot camp’s drill sergeant with a heart of gold, who helps Emily rediscover the magic of Christmas and find romance along the way.

Marissa Jaret Winokur, Justin Gaston, John Schuck and deaf actors Deanne Bray and Zyra Singleton also star in the film.

While many thought Hart would also appear in the film, she told ET that she wanted to "mix it up" and put her director's cap on for this one.

"I don't there was ever a chance that I was gonna play in this one. I like to mix it up now, where I direct one, I star in one," Hart explained. 


Directing has turned into a passion for the 46-year-old actress, adding that directing allows her to fulfill that creative need in her.

"I love directing 'cause it fulfills a creative need in me. I think more so than acting does really, but it's exhausting like directing is exhausting to me," she shared. "So, sometimes, I'll be directing and, my brain is about to explode, but luckily, I get to wear sneakers. I don't have to have the full makeup done -- I don't even have to wear Spanx, so, it's kinda nice, but then I'll be directing and I'm like, 'My brain is about to explode, I just wanna look pretty and make people laugh,' and then I get all dressed up all dolled up and start doing some acting and I'm like, 'Nope, I wanna go back to directing."

"I wanna be the creative. I wanna be the one kinda creating the story. I wanna be the one telling the story," Hart stressed.

Off-screen, Hart has some exciting travel plans in the works! The actress will celebrate her 20th anniversary by traveling to Zambia with World Vision, a humanitarian organization she has worked with in the past. 

See Hart's latest foray behind the camera when Santa Bootcamp premieres Saturday, Nov. 19 on Lifetime.