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/2015/09/daniel-craig-spectre.jpg
Daniel Craig on Being “Typecast” as James Bond: “I mean, talk about a high-class problem”
"It’s not the job of an actor to judge your character" - Daniel Craig
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/jake-johnson-digging-for-fire.jpg
Jake Johnson on ‘Digging for Fire,’ Improv, and Producing His Plays in New York
"I thought my path was going to be as a writer, but I'm pretty happy doing it as an actor." - Jake Johnson
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/margot-robbie-z-for-Zachariah.jpg
Margot Robbie: “Ironically, you have to do the bigger films in order to make a small film”
"When I first tried to do Z for Zachariah, I couldn’t attach enough value to my name" - Margot Robbie
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/jesse-eisenberg-american-ultra.jpg
Jesse Eisenberg on Starring in Action Movies, Kristen Stewart, and How Playing Lex Luthor Felt Like an Off-Broadway Play
"The old cliché in theater is, if you’re nervous, pick up a prop, which will immediately take you outside of your mind." - Jesse Eisenberg
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Ian-McKellen-Mr-Holmes.jpg
Ian McKellen on CGI, the One Character He Wants to Play and Why He Doesn’t Like Being Called “Sir”
"Each part will have its challenges and I like that because if you're trying to solve a problem you're fully engaged" - Ian McKellen