Lena Dunham branded hypocrite for criticising Hollywood's lack of diversity when Girls has all-white leads

Girls creator claims Hollywood has a 'serious problem' in the wake of #OscarsSoWhite

Charlotte Beale
Thursday 28 January 2016 16:46 GMT
Lena Dunham at 2016 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah
Lena Dunham at 2016 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah

Lena Dunham has been called a "hypocrite" for criticising Hollywood’s lack of diversity while the lead characters in her HBO series Girls are all white.

Dunham spoke out at the Sundance Film Festival following the row over this year’s Oscars acting nominations, which feature only white actors.

"We have a very serious problem”, the 29-year-old said.

"The idea that there aren't enough diverse filmmakers or there aren't enough woman filmmakers to give jobs to - it's simply a fallacy. People need to take notice and give resources."

But Girls, the HBO show created by and starring Dunham, revolves around four 20-something female friends in New York – all of whom are white.

Dunham said in 2015 that criticism of Girls for its lack of diversity had been an “educational, painful process”.

While creating the show, she had “been thinking so much about representing weirdo, chubby girls and strange half-Jews that [she] had forgotten that there was an entire world of women being under-served”, she told The Hollywood Reporter.

The Golden Globe winner admitted her past mistakes in an Instagram post while she was at Sundance. “As someone who has been on the receiving end of criticism about diversity, the only thing I know for sure is that our job is to listen - not to defend ourselves”, she wrote.

Dunham was defended following Girls’ 2012 launch by critic Maureen Ryan, who asked in the Huffington Post: “Why are we holding Lena Dunham's feet to the fire, instead of the heads of networks and studios?

"That troubles me, not least because it's easier (and lazier) to attack a [then] 25-year-old woman who's just starting out than to attack the men twice her age who actually control the industry.”

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