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by Alison Willmore
February 20, 2014 3:39 PM
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Watch: Lena Dunham and Grantland's Bill Simmons Talk 'Girls,' Nepotism, the Jezebel Photo Bounty and Why They Are So Few Female Showrunners

Grantland's Bill Simmons has done an in-depth, hour-long interview with Lena Dunham in which he goes over a lot of hot topics with the "Girls" creator, with a "SportsCenter" rundown on the right hand side. Among the subjects the two discuss are the fact that Dunham's current boyfriend Jack Antonoff (of the band Fun) dated Scarlett Johansson in high school and the accusations of nepotism the "Girls" cast members have faced ("Anyone who’s writing about this, I dare you to tell me one fact of my mom’s biography or to have ever looked at anything she’s done," Dunham challenged).

Dunham specifically wanted to talk about why there are so few female showrunners, and she said that while she feels that, like in many industries, "there's a bias toward men" in Hollywood, she also believes "that a lot of the traits that are instilled in women at a young age -- like positivity, equanimity, making people feel good all the time -- people are afraid that that is at odds with being a director or a showrunner or a person who’s in that position of authority. But the fact is, ["Girls" co-showrunner] Jenni [Konner] and I, and someone might argue with this, rule the ‘Girls’ set with love. We get no pleasure from laying down the law, it’s run from an emotional, connected place and it still happens. There’s room for all kinds -- there’s no one personality type that has the skill to manage the goings-on of a television show." She added that another problem is that "networks go, 'we already have our women's show.'"

In talking about the topic, the interview also touched on Jezebel's $10,000 bounty for the unretouched photos from Dunham's recent Vogue spread, ones that turned out to have been minimally altered. "That was messed up," Dunham said. "I think Jezebel can be really smart and funny, it’s just that once you’ve been attacked in that way, it’s hard to enjoy -- once you feel they’ve made such a monumental mistake in their approach to feminism. It was like I just can’t be half in. It felt gross." Of the writer of the posts, to whom Dunham said she hadn't spoken, she speculated that "I can’t imagine the reaction made her feel particularly great."

Check out the full interview below:


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8 Comments

  • rbovaboy | February 21, 2014 3:51 PMReply

    Lena Dunham is awesome and incredibly smart plus knows lots of little interesting tidbits. It's amazing how aware she is. It's too bad that the interviewer can't keep up. He doesn't know half of what she's talking about, so he then starts talking about what he's interested in. Sorry. But Lena kept me listening.

  • Heywood Jablomie | February 21, 2014 2:42 PMReply

    GIRLS has turned into what it always should have been--a fairly well-written TV show that captures this particular moment's version of twentysomething white angst. Now that the characters are a little older, there is some sense of stakes, and so occasionally scenes are...kind of...affecting. The show is generally quite well acted (though the non-Mamet leads all do kinda feel like mumblecore casting, calling up your ex-roommates to see if they'll Do A Thing With You This Saturday). It's solid. It just unfortunately clinked glasses with Internet hype at its hypiest and became an exploding supernova of everything important about femaleness, feminism, fatness, millennialism, politically incorrect sex, white privilege hitting a shitty economy, ass play, alt lit, post-feminist bloggerinas, bla bla bla bla bla......It's not a generational manifesto, just an okay-or-slightly-better twenty-minute sitcom.

  • Marley | February 21, 2014 12:49 PMReply

    I may not like all of her work, but she's a female in a male dominated industry holding her own, and I am proud of that. I can't name many women who write, produce and direct their own shows, so say what you want, the girl is talented and creative.

  • Drew | February 21, 2014 10:08 AMReply

    She's possibly the best young director around today. Such an incredible talent. People simply don't appreciate Girls as much as they should.

  • Melanie | February 21, 2014 12:35 AMReply

    I thought I would find her less irritating after watching this. Now I just think she's a spoiled arrogant asshole.

    Oh, and of course we know who your mother is. We're not all unintelligent slobs like you assume we are.

    Female Shia Lebouf.

  • CrazyxCrazy | February 20, 2014 5:50 PMReply

    Lena Dunham is such a loathsome cunt

  • klaur | February 20, 2014 5:01 PMReply

    Guess she's never worked on a set that had a few hard ass women shouting orders. She thinks that way about the authoritative dominant presence because she's privileged, not because she's a woman. Uggh.

  • parsyeb | February 21, 2014 4:26 PM

    No, YOU'RE privileged, Klaur. But not me! I fit certain categories that make me unprivileged and give me a nice, comfortable place from which to lob insults at others. You privileged piece of garbage, you.