Shalom Life | October 23, 2014

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.

Anthony Rose: The Chef on Dupont Street Anthony Rose: The Chef on Dupont Street TrendingThe Love Jewce: Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce The Love Jewce: Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce TrendingEarly Brooke Burke Nude Photos Featured in Art Gallery Early Brooke Burke Nude Photos Featured in Art Gallery Trending
 

LeBron James Would Like to Visit Israel

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
LeBron James Would Like to Visit Israel

The Cleveland Cavaliers star told Israeli reporters that he looks forward to visiting the country.

Read More

Mac Miller Signs With Major Label

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mac Miller Signs With Major Label

The indie rapper has signed on with Warner Music

Read More

Canadian Sergeant Kevin Vickers Hailed as National Hero

October 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Canadian Sergeant Kevin Vickers Hailed as National Hero

The 58-year-old New Brunswick native credited with saving lives of Canadians on Parliament Hill after this morning's shooting; President Obama has since offered his condolences to the victim's family

Read More

Shia LaBeouf Explains Crazy Behavior Before Exhibiting More Crazy Behavior

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Shia LaBeouf Explains Crazy Behavior Before Exhibiting More Crazy Behavior

The 'Fury' actor was spotted in a Los Angeles gym ranting and mumbling to himself.

Read More

Maya Rudolph and Sarah Silverman Star in Animated Alpaca Film About Economic Inequality

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Maya Rudolph and Sarah Silverman Star in Animated Alpaca Film About Economic Inequality

Adam McKay has directed a series of short films entitled 'We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss'

Read More

Lizzy Caplan to Join 'Now You See Me' Sequel

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Lizzy Caplan to Join 'Now You See Me' Sequel

The 'Masters of Sex' star will replace Isla Fisher.

Read More

Orthodox Jews Delay Flight, Again, For Refusing to Sit Next to Opposite Sex

October 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Orthodox Jews Delay Flight, Again, For Refusing to Sit Next to Opposite Sex

The passengers on the Delta Airlines flight eventually deplaned

Read More

Ferguson Protesters Shut Down CNN Because It's "Zionist" And "Supports Israel" [VIDEO]

October 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Ferguson Protesters Shut Down CNN Because It's "Zionist" And "Supports Israel" [VIDEO]

As tensions escalate once again in Ferguson, protesters shunned CNN reporters because they're "run by AIPAC"

Read More

More Headlines