Gabrielle Union would love to chat with a few starlets about their white girl privilege
Gabrielle Union must have reached the No Fucks Given portion of her career. You can find her on Twitter, in interviews, and on the red carpet schoolin’ folks on everything from rape culture to police brutality. In a poignant interview with Harper’s BAZAAR, Union confirmed that she had a conversation with Lena Dunham (since Dunham can’t stop being offensive — our words, not Union’s). And Union wants to chat about white girl privilege with a couple other white starlets.
Dunham is constantly being trash, so it comes as no surprise to anyone that in an interview with Amy Schumer she sexualized New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., then blasted him for what she perceived as him ignoring her at the Met Gala. Although Union didn’t disclose the nature of their conversation, it happened. Depending on when the convo took place, perhaps it led to Dunham’s apology. We can only hope she was also given a few book recommendations, because how she is so often loud and wrong is beyond me.
The Being Mary Jane star would also like to talk to Schumer and Kate Upton to “help to explain the oppressive systems that have benefited and allowed them to say these careless, insensitive and offensive things.” Go off, Gabby!
Union, like so many women of color, is weary at the ways of white women and white feminists. Schumer’s mediocrity (seriously, who thinks she’s actually funny?) has allowed her to flourish as an A-list celebrity. The very least she can do is not be offensive. That Formation video was tragic, and I don’t care if Beyoncé signed off on it with her own Pentel pen. Upton can miss me with her righteous indignation for Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest of kneeling during the national anthem. The model was quiet as a mouse when a black person was being killed by police or vigilantes every 28 hours, so she can remain quiet on how people protest this. Thank the Hollywood heavens that Union sees that the jig is sky high.
My only qualm about educating offensive white women is that it’s not our job. Black people and people of color have no obligation to teach. Oftentimes it’s futile, but also, Google is free. People who truly want to be informed, intersectional, and not offensive assholes can be. Dunham, Schumer, and Upton live incredibly privileged lives. I wholeheartedly reject the idea of a black woman doing free labor to inform them how not to walk through life in a clueless bubble.
Union is a better woman than I. I respect her choice to do what she pleases with her time, but this is really the work of other white people who get it. And if she’s going to educate people, she needs to be paid, you know, currency — that thing people are given for doing labor.
Also, her thoughts on the failure of Birth of a Nation, being a teenager who wanted to escape her blackness, and the struggles of being a black woman in Hollywood are all significantly more interesting than white female celebs who have little interest in understanding anything outside of their limited world view. It’s worth a read.