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

“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]