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/2017/08/mackenzie-davis-halt-and-catch-fire.jpg
Mackenzie Davis on Breakthrough ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Role: “It was one of my very first jobs. I was so nervous”
"When I started this job, I remembered looking up “how actors prepare for parts” because I just didn’t know!" - Mackenzie Davis
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/michael-keaton-american-assassin.jpg
Michael Keaton on Choosing Roles: “If you overthink the money part, you tend to mess it up”
Keaton explains why material is so much more important to him than money.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Bill-Skarsgard-Pennywise-IT.jpg
Bill Skarsgard on Playing Pennywise in ‘It’: “It was by far the most exhausting character I’ve ever done, physically and mentally”
"I was equally as excited as I was terrified when I booked the job, because now these people expected me to pull it off." - Bill Skarsgard
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/sophie-turner-game-of-thrones.jpg
Sophie Turner on Falling in Love with Acting and Playing Sansa on ‘Game of Thrones’
"To be able to flesh out a character for over eight or so years has been really amazing." - Sophie Turner on Playing Sansa Stark
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/kit-harrington-game-of-thrones.jpg
Kit Harington on Playing Jon Snow: “You take every scene as it comes”
"You just look like an actor wanting to change the character if you then go back and betray what your first instincts were." - Kit Harington