Girls, Girls, Girls

girls-hbo-still-story-top

Now that HBO’s Girls has finally premiered, the hate can officially begin.  Anything that had that much critical hype was bound that have a strong backlash.  One of the critiques I was prepared to read/hear was the lack of diversity on the show.

If you don’t know, Girls is the brainchild of Lena Dunham who also stars.  It is about a group of twenty-something girls who try to survive romantically, socially and professionally in Brooklyn.  They aren’t successful with rich problems like the ladies of Sex and the City.  It’s really the anti-Sex and the City except for the fact that they also live in a corner of New York where they don’t know anyone of color. The thing is I don’t have a problem with that.

Sure, I would love it if they were a diverse group of women because there would be so much more material to explore but let’s be honest for a second.  As a person from New York, It’s completely normal for a group of white friends to only hang out with other white people even in a borough that’s only one-third white. If I had a dollar for every time I was the only Black guy at a house party, I wouldn’t be looking for a job right now (If there aren’t minorities at the parties they go to or at places of work, then I’ll cry foul). I’m not naming names here but I’m pretty sure I was the only Black person a number of my friends socialized with.  It’s unfortunate but in that respect, Girls is that much more realistic to me.

I’d wish Dunham just came out and said that when she was asked about it but I think that would just cause everyone to lose their shit even more.

4 thoughts on “Girls, Girls, Girls

  1. Couldn’t this excuse apply to every show that is not set in a workplace? Since almost all the leads in television are white, this reasoning could be used to excuse having all white casts for many shows.

    My question to TV execs and TV writers everywhere is the following.

    What is more important? Depicting the narrow world you’ve experienced accurately Or Keeping in mind the kinds of people who currently populate the United States while producing your TV shows? TV is for the masses. The masses aren’t all white.

    In any case, the writer of this show could have avoided all this by simply having the show be about two cliques whose lives intersect in often uncomfortable ways. She could have also included a character who is similar to you – the token minority they hang out with to give themselves some hipster/liberal cred.

  2. I think the girls in the show live in an all-white world because ALL of cable original programming is either entirely white or 99.9% white. The only shows I can think of offhand that aren’t all-white and that aren’t on a network are “The Wire” and “Treme,” and both those shows are ABOUT how they’re not about white people. So…I don’t think the whiteness of the girls’ lives is a reflection of their real-life counterparts’ social milieu, I think it’s a reflection of the whiteness of cable television. In what world would they not live entirely among white people? In a network or real world, not a cable one.

  3. Basically, most of the shows on network television have the same racial makeup and the workplace is where any diversity shows up.

    Sure Dunham could have avoided it by having a token minority but if she didn’t feel confident enough to do that without prodding, can you imagine how horrible that character would have been? I frankly wouldn’t trust her.

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