Posted on April 19, 2012

Criticism of HBO’s ‘Girls’ for Being About ‘White Girls, Money, Whining’ Justified?

Hollie McKay, Fox News, April 16, 2012

Last week, Lena Dunham was one of the most talked about young women in the entertainment industry. At just 25, she has created, directed, starred in and produced (along with “Bridesmaids” producer Judd Apatow) the highly-anticipated new HBO series “Girls.”

But following the racy comedy’s debut on Sunday night, a decidedly different vibe has emerged. Dunham has come under fire for failing to convey a wider scope of ethnicities and races in her show’s cultural melting pot of New York City.

In a post titled “HBO’s ‘Girls’ is All About Spoiled White Girls” on the Womanist Musings blog, the author offers a detailed critique of the show’s trivialities and lack of diversity, pointing out that the first black person shown is a homeless man.

“I suppose I should feel thankful that they managed to scare up a Black man ‘cause they most certainly didn’t find a single GLBT person,” the author, Renee, wrote. “‘Girls’ is quite simply about spoiled White girls. They have so much privilege that they have developed a sense of entitlement.”


{snip} However in a live web chat this week, the actress/creator [Dunham] called the lack of diversity “an accident,” and said she hopes to address the issue in a potential second season.

“Our generation is not just white girls. It’s guys. Women of color. Gay people. The idea that I could speak for everyone is so absurd,” she said. “But what is nice is if I could speak for me and it resonate for people.”

Many other industry voices say Dunham is under no obligation to incorporate different minority groups.

“Most wealthy white girls in America are surrounded by other wealthy white girls, so that’s who they choose to be friends with. So what? Are we so immature that we need to throw in a token African-American or Asian to make us better about the fact that some white people have zero exposure to diversity? That doesn’t help bring races together or heal inequality,” pop culture writer Jenn Hoffman told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “That’s an idealistic liberal media driven band-aid at best or completely unrealistic PC garbage at worst.”

Dan Gainor, Vice President of Business & Culture for the Media Research Center concurred that the racial condemnation was “over-hyped.”

“Not every TV show needs to find its PC racial balance so lefties can celebrate and network execs can market to every single minority in America,” he said. “That might surprise some, but there are groups of friends that might be racially homogenous. It’s not a crisis.”