Yo, Is This Racist? Podcast f/t DISGRASIAN Day 4: Was The HBO ‘Girls’ Controversy About Racism Or Sexism?

April 25th, 2013 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

Happy Thursday! Sick of me talking yet? I hope not, because this is my favorite of the Yo, Is This Racist? podcasts I’ve had the pleasure to participate in so far.

The cast of HBO's 'Girls'

The cast of HBO’s ‘Girls’

In this one, host Andrew Ti and I talk about HBO’s GIRLS, which got a lot of attention in its first season for the show’s lack of diversity. Was it fair? Or were people just piling on because the show was created by a woman? Have a listen:

The post I wrote last year about people of color finally appearing on GIRLS can be found here, and the one about women critiquing women is here.

[Yo, Is This Racist? podcast]

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2 Responses to “Yo, Is This Racist? Podcast f/t DISGRASIAN Day 4: Was The HBO ‘Girls’ Controversy About Racism Or Sexism?”

  1. sublimation says:

    Hey Jen,

    First-time poster, long-time follower (2007). Keep up the good work!

    I’d like to point out that all this hubbub about Lena Dunham’s creative direction misplaces the criticism. She is first and foremost, a person who has lived just over two decades and the limited experiences that provides. Secondly, she is an artist who has been given some liberty to guide her production.

    In response to the criticism: “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.”

    But most importantly, she is under contract with HBO, and their executives, producers, and leaders. Why do we care what she does, when she outright says that she would do a terrible job at portraying people of color (and as we’ve seen, it’s become true!). Shouldn’t we be asking HBO and their producers why they didn’t sign on a writer/director of color? Isn’t that the real question here, if we’re concerned about getting someone who would be more likely to have an experience worthy of being written into television?

    Shouldn’t we ask HBO why their recruitment process isn’t as open as we would like for up-and-coming actors of color? What about all the people behind that scenes, that HBO had a hand in selecting (or didn’t select, when they signed Lena Dunham)?

    When it comes to media criticism, we need to be careful about not picking the easy target, and going straight to the people with the money and the power – the network decision-makers.

  2. Jen says:

    You make a good point, sublimation. And I have to say, I really enjoyed season 2 of GIRLS, when I kind of chucked my expectations out the window. Meanwhile, I’ve moved on to thinking Game of Thrones is the whitest–and most creepily imperialist–show on TV.

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