In only four weeks since Girls premiered on HBO (Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET), Lena Dunham’s half-hour comedy about post-college life in New York City has experienced virtually every phase of the TV hype cycle. Critics praised it as groundbreaking and important before it even premiered, but it quickly became a lightning rod of controversy and discussion as viewers have zeroed in on its lack of diversity, privileged characters and awkward sex scenes.
NPR’s Fresh Air interviewed Dunham on Monday to discuss her reaction to those criticisms. Dunham, the creator/writer/producer/director/star of “Girls,” said she didn’t write any African-American characters into the show’s intensely-personal first season because she didn’t know any members of that community well enough to authentically portray their experience.
In an interview with HuffPost TV in April, Dunham expressed concern that “Girls” would be viewed as an example of “hashtag white people problems.” She explained, “We really tried to be aware and bring in characters whose job it was to go ‘Hashtag white people problems, guys.’ I think that’s really important to be aware of. Because it can seem really rarified. When I get a tweet from a girl who’s like, ‘I’d love to watch the show, but I wish there were more women of color.’ You know what? I do, too, and if we have the opportunity to do a second season, I’ll address that.”