After finding herself at the center of an unasked-for controversy involving comedian Lisa Lampanelli’s cringe-inducing use of a racial epithet, Lena Dunham has finally spoken up. Lampanelli tweeted a picture of herself with the Girls creator with the caption “Me and my n—- Lena Dunham,” and has consequently incurred quite a bit of flak.
But Dunham, who didn’t write the tweet, was suddenly forced into the conversation, since many of those offended expected a condemnation, and took her silence as tacit approval or — still worse, for some — indifference.
Dunham responded yesterday specifically to one of her Twitter followers, a young writer who took to the interwebs to declare her offense at Dunham’s failure to speak publicly about Lampanelli’s tweet and to state, among other things, that she didn’t intend on watching Dunham’s hit HBO series ever again. It’s Lena at her finest: considerate, conscious, and ever mindful of just how much she’s living under the microscope. She expressed extreme discomfort at Lampanelli’s word choice, mused that “perhaps I should have addressed it, but the fact is I’ve learned that twitter debates breed more twitter debates,” and made the valid point that “140 characters will never be enough for the kind of dialogue that will actually help us address issues of race and class.”
Lampanelli’s snafu is just a reminder of how our era of instant communication doesn’t leave much room for the reflection that should precede a message communicated to millions, and Dunham’s celebrity is likely the main reason she got dragged into the fray.
EW has the full Twitter conversation between the two (which is likely going to skyrocket the career of Dunham’s accuser). What do you think of her silence, and her ultimate response?