Donald Glover confirms he was joking about Lena Dunham using the N-word

Representatives for ‘Girls’ creator said Glover’s speech included ‘language Lena never used, nor would use’

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 07 March 2023 09:11 GMT
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Donald Glover has confirmed that Lena Dunham did not use the N-word after joking about it an awards speech.

On Sunday (5 March), the Atlanta creator presented an honorary award to executive producer Paul Simms at the Writers Guild Awards.

Later during his speech, Glover recalled meeting Simms on the set of Girls.

“I asked Lena [Dunham], ‘Hey, what made you decide to work with Paul [Simms]?’ And she goes ‘Honestly, this n**** lets me do whatever I want,’” said Glover.

“And I remember thinking two things. One, Lena is using the N-word extremely liberally. Who does she think she is, Chevy Chase? And two, that’s the kind of producer I want.”

Glover’s representatives confirmed to The Independent that the comment was a joke.

Dunham’s representatives also denied that the Girls creator had used the slur.

“Donald Glover told a joke referencing Lena Dunham for last night’s WGA Awards,” they said. “It included, for effect, language Lena never used, nor would use. Full stop.”

Earlier in the speech, Glover had told a story about his Community co-star Chase allegedly referring to him using the word.

Dunham’s representatives claimed that Glover had added the word into his story ‘for effect'
Dunham’s representatives claimed that Glover had added the word into his story ‘for effect' (Getty Images for The Gotham Film)

“Chevy Chase once called [Saturday Night Live writer Herb Sargeant] one of the funniest writers working in television,” Glover said. “Chevy Chase once called me… You know what? This is about Paul.”

The Independent has contacted representatives of Chase for comment.

Glover’s allegations about Chase are in line with previous reports of his on-set behaviour around Glover on Community.

In a 2018 interview with The New Yorker, showrunner Dan Harmon said Chase would try to disrupt Glover’s scenes and “make racial cracks between takes”, attributing these comments to Chase being “jealous” of his co-star’s talent.

“I remember apologising to Donald after a particularly rough night of Chevy’s non-PC verbiage, and Donald said, ‘I don’t even worry about it,’” Harmon said.

Glover added that he saw Chase as “fighting time”. Chase told the publication that he was “saddened to hear that Donald perceived me in that light”.

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