Donald Glover Will Play Lena Dunham’s Handsome Black Republican Boyfriend In ‘Girls’

Donald Glover Will Play Lena Dunham's Handsome Black Republican Boyfriend In 'Girls'

You’ll recall last year’s hoopla over the lack of diversity in Lena Dunham’s hit HBO series, Girls (although, it’s questionable whether it all was genuine, or fabricated to generate conversation and press around the series); soon after, it was revealed that Donald Glover would be joining the series’ cast this season, I suppose in response to calls for more *color* on the show.

At the time, it wasn’t known what role exactly Glover would play; but now we do know. 

Tim Goodman’s review of the new season of the series (which debuts on January 13) in The Hollywood Reporter last Friday, gives us some of the 411:

Season two starts with a pretty big — and unexplained — jump. Hannah is now dating a handsome black Republican named Sandy (Donald Glover)… When Sandy calls out Hannah’s knowledge of race and its ramifications, she goes on a self-righteous, defensive rant, and Sandy says, “You just said a Missy Elliott lyric.” There are attacks on fixie bikes, rich white girls dating black men, iPad-using gay DJs, what constitutes a “pretty person’s job,” and the smug cynicism of youthful people who haven’t earned the right to it.

Intrigued?

I did watch a couple of episodes of Girls, and, to be frank, they did very little, to nothing, for me, and I never went back to it. I’m just not its target audience. Besides, I have so much else to keep up with. I hear it’s a good show, well-written etc. But little about it attracts me.

Will Glover’s addition make a difference to me? Probably not. But we’ll see… I’m sure I’ll be cajoled into giving it a look – especially the episodes he’s in. 

Dunham said that the ‘race’ problem in Girls would be addressed in the new season, and the characters would be more diverse. Great! However, I’m not a fan of classic network tokenism in casting; in essence, don’t give us characters of color just to meet a quota, or as a knee-jerk reaction to the criticism. And then when she does include black characters who aren’t written as we’d like them to be, we’ll only just criticize further! 

And given that Glover’s character is a black Republican, it’s anyone’s guess what slant/angle the writing will take with Mr Sandy. 

For a show that, from what I hear, is not at all what you’d call political – at least the characters and the world they inhabit are apolitical – how will inserting a character designated as a black Republican mix into the narrative?

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Comments

Cyphine

It seemed pure female fantasy at work when casting sexy Donald Glover as lumpy Hannah's boyfriend. I was wondering how the heck it could possibly be believable that someone as gorgeous as Donald Glover could hook up with average Lena Dunham. I figured he'd have to have some enormous fault – then I realized he was supposed to be Republican – mystery solved!

esho

How exactly are they going to weave the fact that he is a black republican into the narrative? Is he going to give a speech on blacks on the Democratic plantation? Have posters of Clarence Thomas and Allen West in his bedroom. Go to protests supporting Stop and Frisk? I have absolutely no desire to see this.

gina

Am I intrigued, you ask? Of course I am! First I hear about this show everywhere I look, and now my favorite funny man is cast in it! When my DISH coworker first told me this news, I totally didn't believe him! Now I can't help but want to catch up on the series to see what all the fuss is about! Luckily, it'll be easy for me to get up to speed on "Girls", since every episode is available to rent from the Blockbuster @Home service through DISH.

getthesenets

Donald Glover is "not down for the cause"-heheheh

pk

I feel this is going to come off like the white girls in Chesaleigh' s "S*it White Girls Say to Black Guys". I already know how the Lena's of New York talk about race and it's annoying..won't be funny. The show is good sometimes though. The episode where she went back home and the wedding episode mainly.

getthesenets

never trust a Black man without a moustache

styles

I don't think this is what the complainers had in mind when they asked for more diversity. It seems this girl and HBO decided to create more controversy by suggesting that a handsome black Republican will date any white woman and good looks need not apply.

monkeysuit

@Charles I still think it's dumb. I liked the first season, but if this addition is just to "diversify" the show by putting an Uncle Tom on it, well I'd rather them just keep to what they know. If it's so difficult to imagine the experiences of another race that you have to make a character that is inwardly whiter than them, as "funny" as that sounds, it's not addressing the white-wash issue. I'd rather them stay apolitical than have to sit through a privileged white girl's idea about race being countered with a black Republican's ideals. And furthermore, I thought the appeal of the show was its somewhat realistic approach to modern day 20-something hipster white women. You can imagine meeting all of the characters hanging around organic coffee shops in Williamsburg. Where does a black Republican fit in in all this? Maybe I'm ignorant being 20-something myself and living in NYC, but I've never encountered a young, black Republican privileged or not. They're like unicorns. Which means his character isn't reflective of any recognizable culture, certainly not young, black, middle-class New Yorkers better known as "blipsters." That makes his addition is a farce, which breaks the show's mold, right?

BURP

This show actually has some very good writing and is very accurate according to hipster culture in Brooklyn. Its very funny and I give props to Lena.. I will watch it.

Robert E. Holley (@ROBatGraveShift)

I finally sat down and watched the whole first season the other night. It's not horrible, and comes in to it's own in the last few episodes of the season. It definitely speaks to the current next generation of 20/30 somethings in New York. I once heard Lena Dunham talk about how the show is from the perspective of someone who moved to the city expecting that "Sex and The City" experience, only to be rudely awakened, and that's EXACTLY what it is. I tried to get in to it early on and passed, but happened to catch the Bushwick episode, and laughed my ass off.

It's worth giving it a chance. I respect her staying in her lane, and not trying to fabricate an experience (read: black experience), that she isn't familiar with. I'll be tuning in come Season 2

Nia

Hi, under 30 year old person here. So I guess that means I'm somewhat in the target audience. I was one of the first to shout about the lack of color in this show before I really gave it a chance. It is a tautly written show about girls in my age group who just can't seem to get it right. I'm still very miffed that nearly NO PoC were included in the first season, but the show has a certain something that I don't see in television for women my age. Outside of Awkward Black Girl that is. If there are some please let me know. I really like Donald Glover for reasons I really can't pinpoint (moreso his off kilter sketch show Derrick Comedy), so I'll be watching. If I feel up to it.

Cynthia

People like Lena Dunham in real life hang out with black people like Donald Glover in real life, because they're indie. The black people who aren't the stereotype and who hang around the rich kid, hipster type is the black people you'll see on her show. Point blank. So I'm not surprised his character is who he is, nor do I expect anything else.

Miles Ellison

Yay. I'm still not watching.

Nuli_h@yahoo.com

Donald Glover is a perfect addition. Getting chills… love the storyline. Ultra-authentique.

Mekisha Hale

Just read the article on the series HBO's Girl's with an added character to the show named Sandy. An Boyfriend who happens to be an Black Republican. Well this really includes and solves the biggest problem in situation comedies shows. Suppose to be so different then other shows that display not the realization of women real women who reflect the real society. So with that why is the character is dating an Black Republican doesn't make sense. Also I think that the discussion on the just idea of putting a black character on show just to feel that this is real enough for everyone out there to watch to show more, doesn't make any sense either. That should have been part of the ideal of the show before it appeared on the network. If this is the new generation of today it would be more diversity then what is displayed which is sort of interesting that this is applied to the character recent on the new season. Why not have more diversity with women who are from different point of views about dating and relationships and just being a woman period. It doesn't make sense to put on such a character that is so far from dealing with real life. Knowing that most who are diverse themselves ethnic and are from backgrounds that have different people wouldn't political now in the climate would find this character study as really not believable then the truth. I would rather like if they would try out something completely different. Why not make the show more diverse like New York City is a place of different cultures why not reflect that. That I would take the time to watch then something that's thrown in there for cover. Still this was an article that gave some interesting pin points on something that was unknown to me.

bill

Dang, she just lost all her viewership! bhahahah!

Adam Scott Thompson

I like (love?) the show. Got a weird little crush on this funny, self-deprecating, homely, never-well-dressed chick.

monkeysuit

This sounds dumb. And will definitely not entice more black viewers. I mean is there anybody more worthy of loathing than the black republican?

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