Lena Dunham Responds to ‘Girls’ Criticism: “This show isn’t supposed to feel exclusionary. It’s supposed to feel honest”

lena-dunham-girlsLena Dunham, the 25-year-old writer, star, and creator of HBO’s hit Girls, is the one who has to take flack for any criticism about the series.  In an interview with NPR, Dunham addresses the media’s main complaint that the show lacks diversity.

Dunham said, “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.”

“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.”

Girls airs on HBO, Sunday nights at 10:30 PM. 

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/natalie-portman-jackie.jpg
Natalie Portman: “I think you can’t judge your character when you play her, or else you wouldn’t be able to”
Portman speaks about the challenges with playing the famous First Lady.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Aaron-Eckhart.jpg
Aaron Eckhart: “I have a saying: ‘If you’re sweating, you’re doing it wrong'”
"People ask me, 'Why aren’t you sweating?' And I say, 'Because I am making myself effortless.' The physical is key." - Aaron Eckhart
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/anna-kendrick.jpg
Anna Kendrick on Why She Became a Actress and How She Got Her Role in ‘Up in the Air’
"It became the way that I learn about myself and the way that I learn about other people." - Anna Kendrick on Acting
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Viola-Davis-Fences.jpg
Viola Davis on Returning to ‘Fences’: “It was a chance and an opportunity to fix some things I never got right on stage”
"You know when you’re not getting it right, you know when you’re coasting." - Viola Davis
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Nicole-Kidman.jpg
Nicole Kidman on Roles She Turned Down: “It’s just the journey”
"You’re meant to play certain things and if it’s meant to be, then it just kind of happens." - Nicole Kidman