Lena Dunham Finds That Whole Nepotism Thing “Upsetting”
10:30 am, October 8th | by Laura Donovan
Season two of HBO’s “Girls” hasn’t even aired yet and the “nepotism” argument is still pervading our national discussion on the series. It’s not new criticism either, as show creator Lena Dunham has been hearing it all year, but she appears to be really sick of it now — and so is her mom, who has subscribed to a “Lena Dunham” Google Alert to keep an eye on the things people are saying about her daughter (in that case, hi Laurie!!!).
Speaking at the New Yorker Festival this weekend, the 26-year-old said of those who blast her for only casting children of famous figures on her program, “The criticisms that — I wouldn’t say they surprised me, but they disappointed me — were the whole privilege and nepotism area of things. It’s upsetting, it’s confusing… I have plenty of counter-arguments to that, but it’s not elegant to share them.”
She said about as much a couple of months ago, when she claimed it was absurd for people to say she only got ahead because of her mom and dad, as the average person doesn’t even know that her mother is an accomplished artist:
“The whole nepotism storyline…I get it more with Allison [Williams] and Zosia [Mamet] who have dads who are kind of active in the entertainment industry…But I really did want to challenge all the people crying nepotism to actually tell me who either of my parents were, because it’s the contemporary art world! Okay, I’m Laurie Simmons’s daughter. In one sentence, give me the concentrated version of her Wikipedia entry. You cannot! She’s had a lovely career, but she’s a feminist photographer from downtown New York.”
I’m not going to lie, it does seem like Dunham has had a lot of opportunities fall into her lap, at least compared to her sadsack onscreen “Girls” persona, Hannah Horvath, but I do understand why she’s done fighting the “nepotism” charge. Maybe she’d be better off giving her opponents a piece of her mind, as “un-elegant” and “undignified” as that could be. I suspect it’s the only way to shut them up and find something else to bitch about.