Monday, February 27, 2017

Race on HBO's Girls (ugh)

Ok, ok. I know this is nothing to be proud of, but before I left New York I this past summer , I watched all of the Girls episodes that had aired up until that point. For anyone who has somehow missed the boat, Girls is an HBO show, currently on its sixth and last season, that was created by Lena Dunham about four young, white, privileged women who live in New York City. (I also watched all of Broad City before I left New York too, so hopefully that makes up for this confession). 

Anyway, this isn't a core response so I'll keep it short, but thinking about this week's readings in relation to show, which up until this last season has come under much deserved criticism for its repeated lack of diversity, I am interested in Dunham's decision to finally include race in the show's last season through the casting of its supporting characters. After almost proudly balking at the blatant whiteness of her show (that takes place in Brooklyn, no less), why has Dunham chosen the last season to demonstrate any sort of racial awareness? Thinking of the first two episodes of this last season, I am remembering three people of color chosen to portray supporting characters. Three people of color over two Girls episodes are probably more people of color than have appeared in the the show's prior five seasons. Why now? 

1 comment:

  1. I think today's culture is at least a little bit more aware of the need for intersectionality (thanks to the work of BLM activists over the past 5 years the show has been on), so I'm wondering if her particular brand of white-feminism™-disguised-as-performative-wokeness may have finally caught up with her. As a more generous reading, perhaps she's realized that she has the industrial/creative platform to be able to tell stories about people of color and should take advantage of that fact. More cynically, she may just want to reverse the perception of her as a whites-only creator as she moves on to her next project...

    Disclaimer: I've only hate-watched through Season 4 :)