Lena Dunham Addresses Girls Racial Criticism Like A Good Liberal Arts Grad

By

When the Girls backlash was at its peak (all the way back in April), it was hard for Lena Dunham, the show’s creator/writer/director/star, to address the show’s controversies with the level of sincerity and thoroughness the issue demanded. Instead, we got this eventually deleted tweet from Girls writer Lesley Arfin:

“What really bothered me most about Precious was that there was no representation of ME”
“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.”
“I wrote the first season primarily by myself…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 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.”