Shalom Life | January 28, 2015

Lena Dunham: 'Girls' Isn’t Racist, It’s Honest

Lena Dunham addresses the criticism 'Girls' has received due to the lack of diversity

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: May 7th, 2012 in Culture » TV » News

Lena Dunham: 'Girls' Isn’t Racist, It’s Honest

HBO’s newest show, Girls, debuted in April to mostly positive reviews. The show’s writer and star, Lena Dunham, created a show based around her own personal experiences living as a 20-something in New York City. Although The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman called the show “one of the most original, spot-on, no-missed-steps series in recent memory,” many people have expressed concern that Girls is narcissistic, lacks racial diversity, and can only be truly understand by upper-class white girls.

Lena Dunham thought it was important to address these issues on Monday’s ‘Fresh Air’. While being interviewed, Dunham addressed her experiences living in New York, the criticism Girls has received, and 20-somethings that still live with their parents.

"I take that criticism very seriously. ... This show isn't supposed to feel exclusionary. It's supposed to feel honest, and it's supposed to feel true to many aspects of my experience. But for me to ignore that criticism and not to take it in would really go against my beliefs and my education in so many things. And I think the liberal-arts student in me really wants to engage in a dialogue about it, but as I learn about engaging with the media, I realize it's not the same as sitting in a seminar talking things through at Oberlin. Every quote is sort of used and misused and placed and misplaced, and I really wanted to make sure I spoke sensitively to this issue,” Dunham explains.

"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. 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. As much as I can say it was an accident, 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, but I did write something that was super-specific to my experience, and I always want to avoid rendering an experience I can't speak to accurately."

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Girls yet, it airs on HBO Sunday nights at 10:30 EST.

Sorry, Israel’s BDSM Domino’s Ad is Fake Sorry, Israel’s BDSM Domino’s Ad is Fake TrendingChelsea Handler Filming Secret Project in Israel? Chelsea Handler Filming Secret Project in Israel? Trending‘American Sniper’ Comments Get Seth Rogen and Michael Moore Banned From Michigan Restaurant ‘American Sniper’ Comments Get Seth Rogen and Michael Moore Banned From Michigan Restaurant Trending
 

EXCLUSIVE: Nancy Spielberg Talks New Documentary ‘Above and Beyond’

January 28, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
EXCLUSIVE: Nancy Spielberg Talks New Documentary ‘Above and Beyond’

'Above and Beyond' is the first major feature-length documentary about the foreign airmen in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Read More

Toronto is Hosting a Drake Themed Drag Party

January 28, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Toronto is Hosting a Drake Themed Drag Party

This weekend, The Crush Project invites you to 'Drake Expectations'.

Read More

Reporter to Rashida Jones: I Like Your Tan [VIDEO]

January 28, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Reporter to Rashida Jones: I Like Your Tan [VIDEO]

A TNT correspondent commented on Jones' "tan" at the SAG awards.

Read More

Sorry, Israel’s BDSM Domino’s Ad is Fake

January 28, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Sorry, Israel’s BDSM Domino’s Ad is Fake

Domino's announced that the viral ad for their new sriracha pizza is unauthorized.

Read More

Anti-Israel BDS Movement May Be Fashionable in Academia, But It's Far From Invincible

January 28, 2015 | By Roberta P. Seid, JNS.org
Anti-Israel BDS Movement May Be Fashionable in Academia, But It's Far From Invincible

BDS resolutions degrade academia and do not meet even the most elementary scholarly standards

Read More

Hezbollah to Israel: We Don't Want Further Escalation

January 28, 2015 | By Itamar Eichner, Moran Azulay
Hezbollah to Israel: We Don't Want Further Escalation

Attack was an 'eye for an eye' - revenge for January 18 attack in Syria attributed to Israel

Read More

Artist Envisions The Simspons as Jews During the Holocaust

January 28, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Artist Envisions The Simspons as Jews During the Holocaust

With 'The Simpsons NEVER AGAIN', Alexsandro Palombo draws the iconic cartoon family imprisoned at Auschwitz in honor of the 70th anniversary of the camp's liberation

Read More

Report: Poverty in Israel Comparable to Mexico

January 28, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Report: Poverty in Israel Comparable to Mexico

With the middle class disappearing, the gap between the rich and the poor is becoming all too clear in the Holy Land, according to the Adva Center

Read More

More Headlines