The actor and writer spoke about the ‘valid’ criticism of her TV show, intersectional feminism, Kim Kardashian’s robbery and the Odell Beckham Jr. controversy
Lena Dunham took the mic on The Breakfast Club yesterday to discuss the soon-to-be-aired, final season of Girls. The actor and writer turned to some of the long-running criticisms of the show, particularly the lack of representation for people of colour.
Dunham said the critique was “totally valid”, and that when it first began, she was hoping to “write from a place of accuracy and passion and understanding”, though this was marred by her ignorance of women of colour’s stories and struggles.
“It’s not one size fits all, and there are issues that women of colour deal with that white women have no idea,” she observed. “White feminists do not have a great history of carrying their black sisters along with them.” She added that her knowledge on the danger of “white feminism” has greatly improved.
Dunham also pointed to the work of Issa Rae, who’s working on HBO’s Insecure, as an example of a diverse new narrative. “(Issa’s) voice needs to be on television. It doesn’t need to be my voice telling the story of a black woman’s New York experience, it needs to be Issa getting to go deep and go personal about what it feels like to be a young black woman dating in Los Angeles right now.”
What also came up in Wednesday’s radio show was her Lenny Letter piece with Amy Schumer, in which she singled out sportsman Odell Beckham Jr., and the backlash that followed. Dunham claimed that the NFL player had ignored her at the Met Gala because of how she looked. After a wave of backlash for perpetuating serious, racially charged stereotypes, she later apologised for making “narcissistic assumptions”.
“It was a great lesson to me in how your humor can be misconstrued,” Dunham told the radio show hosts. “I just had this whole projected thought process of, like, Odell doesn't want to be sitting next to me, he doesn't want to be talking to me, he thinks I'm garbage, he thinks I look like a boy. So I thought all of that was coming across, but it seemed like I was actually accusing him of some kind of misogyny.”
“Especially at this moment in history, we have to be hyper-vigilant about the way that we depict each other because of how much darkness and tension exists in this Trump-ified world,” she added.
The actor also discussed Kim Kardashian’s robbery in Paris, slamming people who were quite to mock the reality star. She said: “I'm literally thinking about her every day like she's my friend.”
Dunham also discussed her Lenny Letter as a platform for supporting marginalized voices, where their stories can be amplified “instead of trying to co-opt their stories so I have a cast that looks great on a poster”. Dunham added: “looking back, I never want to see another poster that’s four white girls.”