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/2017/11/Linnea-Berthelsen-Stranger-Things.jpg
Linnea Berthelse on Her ‘Stranger Things’ Audition and Keeping Her Role a Secret for a Year
“Sometimes when actors don’t get the part, it’s not always about an actor being a bad actor; it’s about connecting to the material.” – Linnea Berthelsen Stranger Things is back on our screens with its second season, something fans have been waiting for ever since season one arrived on Netflix in 2016. Returning to the […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/jonathan-groff-hamilton.jpg
Jonathan Groff on Playing King George III in ‘Hamilton’: “I rehearsed for about a day, and then went into the show”
Can you even imagine stepping into a role in one of the biggest Broadway hits of all time with barely any time to prepare?
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/lina-esco-swat.jpg
Lina Esco on Playing the Only Female Officer on ‘S.W.AT.’: “I have to portray her as someone equal to all of the guys on her team”
"The important thing for me when I read scripts is how much respect I have for the character and how far I can take her" - Lina Esco
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/sam-rockwell-three-billboards.jpg
Sam Rockwell on Typecasting and One of His Worst Auditions
"I’m kind of a workhorse. It takes a toll" - Sam Rockwell
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/rachel-bloom-crazy-ex-girlfriend.jpg
Rachel Bloom: “The way that I learned comedy was not rigid, but this very specific technique taught by the Upright Citizens Brigade”
"I went from being a person who was doing moderately successful videos online and working as a moderately successful TV writer and aspiring to do this to having a Golden Globe." - Rachel Bloom