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May 9, 2012 / Hallie Madenski

Lena Dunham Defends White ‘Girls’

Lena Dunham has come to the defense of the show she created, writes, directs and stars in. HBO’s Girls (produced by Judd Apatow) has come under fire for being only about white women who don’t have to work.

These “rich white girl” complaints are easy to dismiss. I honestly couldn’t care less about diversity because so many shows with a variety of skin tones seem to have cast that way to avoid criticisms of this very nature. And who exactly is concerned about this? I’m guessing white women and men who caught half an episode or less. Was Friends diverse? Sex And The City? The Cosby ShowEntourage? Seinfeld? God no.

Gimme an ice pick to the eye every time I hear someone making a hullabaloo over Lena Dunham unless it’s because she’s original, funny and not afraid to “go there.” 

“I wrote the first season primarily by myself, and I co-wrote a few episodes. But I am a half-Jew, half-WASP, and I wrote two Jews and two WASPs. Something I wanted to avoid was tokenism in casting,” Dunham told NPR.

“If I had one of the four girls, if, for example, she was African-American, I feel like — not that the experience of an African-American girl and a white girl are drastically different, but there has to be specificity to that experience [that] I wasn’t able to speak to.”

“I really wrote the show from a gut-level place, and each character was a piece of me or based on someone close to me. And only later did I realize that it was four white girls.”

“It was only later as the criticism came out, I thought, ‘I hear this and I want to respond to it.’ And this is a hard issue to speak to because all I want to do is sound sensitive and not say anything that will horrify anyone or make them feel more isolated.”

“I always want to avoid rendering an experience I can’t speak to accurately.”

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3 Comments

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  1. Althea / May 9 2012 3:29 pm

    As a Black woman I don’t want a show to just have a token black person. I do like this show. I can relate, it really doesn’t matter what collor you’re. If it is a good show it is good for the human race!

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