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Reporter Asks Lena Dunham Why She's Naked So Much on Girls, Controversy Ensues (NSFW)

Reporter Asks Lena Dunham Why She's Naked So Much on Girls, Controversy Ensues (NSFW)

A reporter for The Wrap asked Lena Dunham why she was nude so much at a press conference, provoking accusations of sexism and misogyny from Judd Apatow.



Source: The Wrap

A reporter for Hollywood news and gossip site The Wrap asked a question of Girls star Lena Dunham at a press conference recently, and all hell has broken loose. Wondering about the high volume of nudity from Dunham on the show, Tim Molloy asked:

I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on ‘Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they’re doing it. They’re doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason.

 

Dunham responded:

Yeah. It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your problem.

 

Uh oh. Things got serious:

Huh? But I didn’t say that. The conversation continued its personal turn as Apatow asked if I had a girlfriend.

“Sure,” I said.

“Does she like you?”

“Yeah.”

“Let’s see how she likes you when you quote that with your question and just write the whole question… and tell me how it goes tonight.”

Actually, my girlfriend has wondered about this, too. Here’s why.

“Girls” has more nudity by its lead character than any show, well, ever. But my girlfriend and I don’t understand the reason for it. We’re cool with nudity, and if Dunham wants to be naked, great. I’m not offended by it. I don’t like it or not like it. I just don’t get the artistic reason for it, and want to understand it, because I’m a TV critic.

 

After the conference, Apatow explained why he found the question inappropriate:

Dunham left after the panel. But Apatow stuck around, and we talked about my question, which he said was “offensive on its face.”

“You should read it and discuss it with other people,” he told me. “It is very offensive.”

“Is it sexist?” I asked. “Because I would ask the same question –”

“It’s sexist and offensive, it’s misogynistic,” he said.

“I’m not saying it’s bad that she’s nude,” I said.

Another reporter noted that if Louis C.K. were naked on his show, we would ask about it.

“There’s a way to word a question about the reason for nudity on the show and it was not done elegantly. If you re-read it and you listen to it you will not be proud of yourself.”

 

It's a riveting story, and I'm personally not sure what to make of it. I have no doubt that there are people, perhaps a lot of them,  who have a problem with Dunham and her use of nudity because she doesn't fit society's standard of a woman as a sex object. I also have no doubt that Dunham is naked so much on the show in order to be provocative, perhaps about this very subject. As to Molloy's motivations in asking the question? Well, that seems to be in danger of overshadowing the discussion about the nudity and its purpose, which I'm not sure is a good thing.

It should be noted that Dunham and Apatow's responses here come via Molloy's report, rather than directly from them, for what that's worth.

Wrap editor Sharon Waxman chimed in yesterday, defending her writer:

What I don’t get is why folks are getting so mad that a journalist asked a question at a press conference about Dunham’s pushing the nudity envelope, when the purpose of her show is to artistically push the envelope? (See the Emmy promo photo of Dunham, poking fun at herself, naked on the toilet.)

I don’t buy the argument that Tim is off-base for asking the question because… it’s Season 3. There isn’t a statute of limitations on questions about the substance of a show. Maybe it was the topless ping-pong scene last year that provoked the thought. Maybe the nudity is feeling tired by Season 3. Or maybe no one called on Tim the last time Dunham, Apatow and Konner faced the TV press.

Who knows why? It’s a question, and reporters ask questions. The brave ones ask uncomfortable ones which are even more uncomfortable at clubby TCA (Cue earlier version of myself asking NBC why they aired the Golden Globes, voted upon by a few dozen freelancers, circa 1997. I got hissed in the room and one glorious pat on the back.)

 

Personally, it seems to me that at least one of the primary purposes of the show is to provoke this kind of discussion. If so, mission accomplished. The headlines that have sprung out of this are a conversation in and of themselves:

Huffington Post: Questions About Lena Dunham's Nudity Send 'Girls' Producers Into 'Rage Spiral'

USA Today: 'Girls' producers defend Lena Dunham's nudity

Daily Beast: Hate Lena Dunham's Naked Body On 'Girls?' Show Us Yours

Slate: Television Critic Doesn't "Get" Why Lena Dunham Is Naked All the Time

Us Weekly: Lena Dunham Slams Reporter Over Girls Nudity: "If You're Not Into Me, That's Your Problem"

There's literally hundreds of them. Check it out for yourself.

In any case, share your thoughts in the discussion below, which I'm sure will be very mature and reserved.





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About the Author - Jude Terror


Jude Terror is the Webmaster Supreme of The Outhouse and a sarcastic ace reporter dedicated to delivering irreverent comics and entertainment news to The Outhouse's dozens of loyal readers. Driven by a quest for vengeance, Jude Terror taught himself to program and joined The Outhouse. He instantly began working toward his goal of forcing the internet comics community to take itself less seriously and failing miserably.  Ironically, our webmaster, whose website skills know no end, has very little understanding of social networks or how they work.  Regardless, you can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, but would probably have the most luck just emailing him.

 


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