In a sentence we never thought we’d need to write, Lena Dunham has issued an apology for her new HBO Max series, Generation, using dead cats in a classroom scene. Variety reports that the conservative high-school dramedy wanted to add authenticity to a biology dissection scene with the aforementioned corpses, a creative decision that was first outlined in a series of tweets by a friend of a Generation staffer. This Twitter user alleged that crew members and actors were given “no warning” about the corpses, and the “trauma responses” led to two extras quitting. HBO Max confirmed to Variety that the dead cats were indeed real, but noted they were all “ethically sourced” from a “biological supply company that works with schools.” The streaming service also stated that everyone involved in the scene “was informed in advance” of the “sensitive” cat usage, although they “deeply regret that this occurred.”
Dunham, who had not been present throughout Generation’s shooting process because she’s working on her new film, Catherine, Called Birdy, in London, was only made aware of the offending scene when the Twitter thread picked up steam over the weekend. She asserts that she was never told real cats would be used. “I am committed in my life and work to the principled, humane and ethical treatment of animals,” Dunham added in a statement. “I don’t use animal cadavers in any of my work, ever, and I was not on set or aware that they were used in a recently shot scene depicting a biology classroom assignment. I fully support the scene being edited out of the show.” HBO Max confirmed that the scene will not appear in the series.