Lena Dunham responded to the copious criticisms that her hit HBO dramedy Girls wasn't diverse last week, telling NPR's Fresh Air, “Now we have the opportunity to do a second season and, believe me, that will be remedied,” Dunham said. “I’m really excited to introduce new characters into the world of the show. Some of them are great actors of color.”
The show is filming in Greenpoint this weekend, and a casting call posted to Backstage.com shows that Dunham and crew are at least casting not only white hipsters:
Seeking—Hipster Types: male and female, 18-30s, all ethnicities, all types, specifically seeking people with tattoos, piercings, colored hair, and unique looks. Young Adult (ages 18-29), Thirties (ages 30-39). Caucasian/White, African-American/Black, Latin/Hispanic/South American, Asian, Native American, European, Middle Eastern, Indian/South Asian, Other.
The New York Post would also like you to see that Dunham was seen this week filming with Community star and black actor, Donald Glover.
So, is all of this sufficient proof that the show will be authentically diverse in its second season? We'll have to wait and see how Dunham and her co-writers write non-white characters. Dunham, after all, admitted in the Fresh Air interview that she might not be able to "speak to" the black experience:
I wrote the first season primarily by myself, and I co-wrote a few episodes. But I am a half-Jew, half-WASP, and I wrote two Jews and two WASPs. Something I wanted to avoid was tokenism in casting. If I had one of the four girls, if, for example, she was African-American, I feel like — not that the experience of an African-American girl and a white girl are drastically different, but there has to be specificity to that experience [that] I wasn’t able to speak to.
And to those many bloggers who condemned Dunham's character Hannah for her sense of entitlement -- race aside -- New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum said it best:
Girls airs on Sundays on HBO.