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Lena Dunham Explains The Lack Of Diversity In The “Girls” Cast

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“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.”

Lena Dunham, speaking with NPR’s Fresh Air about the backlash towards “Girls,” in particular the frustration from some critics that all of the main characters are all white. I found Dunham’s “explanation,” for lack of a better word, to be honest and humble and I, for one, appreciate her candor and sensitivity. Love “Girls,” love her. You can listen to the full interview at the link. [NPR]

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