If you’ve ever watched HBO’s ‘Girls’ and wondered why it features so much of Lena Dunham’s skin, you’re not alone. A reporter at the Television Critics Association press tour had the same question. He asked it tactfully, and was suddenly deemed “sexist” by Judd Apatow. Producer Jenni Konner pronounced that the question had sent her into a “rage spiral.” Oddly enough, there were no “rage spirals” sent Bill Maher’s way when he made a comment that — using Konner’s standards — was certainly worth one. More on that later.
First, the “offensive” and “misogynistic” comment that irked Apatow, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.
“I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show — by [Dunham] in particular,” the reporter said, according to EW. “I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about all the nudity on “Game of Thrones,”’ but I get why they do it. They do it to be salacious and titillate people. And your character is often nude at random times for no reason.” — Reporter
Now, the response by the ‘Girls’ crew:
Judd Apatow: “That was a very clumsily stated question that’s offensive on its face, and you should read it and discuss it with other people how you did that. […] It’s very offensive.”
Jenni Konner: “I literally was spacing out because I’m in such a rage spiral about that guy. […] I was just looking at him and going into this rage [over] this idea that you would talk to a woman like that and accuse a woman of showing her body too much. The idea of it just makes me sort of sick.”
Lena Dunham: “I totally get it. If you’re not into me, that’s your problem and you’re going to have to work that out with professionals.”
Now to what Bill Maher said on HBO’s ‘Real Time’ while interviewing Mike Rowe of ‘Dirty Jobs’ fame. The two were talking about 3 million good “blue-collar” jobs that can’t be filled in the U.S. because Americans either a.) won’t train to take them or b.) refuse to apply.
Bill Maher: Do you watch the HBO show ‘Girls’?
Mike Rowe: *with sarcasm* Religiously. …
Bill Maher: Well it’s very hard to imagine those chicks — who don’t have jobs and they’re sponging off their parents and doing stupid things like working at coffee shops — they would never even consider taking a job as a plumber even though the lead girl shows more ass crack every week than 100 plumbers.”
What is more “sexist” and “misogynistic,” Mr. Apatow — a reporter who simply wants to know the rationale behind what he sees as an excessive amount of nudity, or Bill Maher referring to “chicks” that “show more ass crack every week than 100 plumbers”?
Where is the “rage spiral,” Ms. Konner, for Bill Maher? Or do you only go into “rage spirals” for men with a smaller megaphone than you? When one puts the two comments side-by-side, it appears as though Bill Maher’s comment would be worthy of a “rage tornado” or perhaps a “rage vortex.” What gives?
Question for Ms. Dunham: Should Bill Maher seek help with professionals? And (admittedly, a side note) do you regret making that creepy ad where you likened voting for Barack Obama to losing your virginity — especially since most women don’t lose their virginity to a guy with a “Terror Tuesday kill list”?
One guy flatly said he “doesn’t get the purpose” of the amount of nudity on the show and he’s accused of being a sexist; the other guy refers to “chicks” like Dunham and likens her to the stereotypical (male) plumber who shows too much of his hairy butt to customers — and crickets chirped.
Given that ‘Girls’ and ‘Real Time’ both air on the same channel, one would think that Mr. Apatow would want to make it known that there isn’t room for such “misogynistic” talk amongst HBO family. I guess not. Either the ‘Girls’ crew sits silently while Maher does his thing because he has too much clout, or they do so because he’s an ideological ally. Which is it? My money is on the fact that Bill Maher tends to defend the guy Ms. Dunham lost her “voting virginity” to in 2008.
If any of the “chicks” over at ‘Girls’ — particularly Jenni Konner — go into a “rage spiral” now that Maher’s observations have been more forthrightly brought to their attention, I’ll let you know. Chances are that you’ll see Lena Dunham naked again before Bill Maher gets a public earful from Judd Apatow, since they like to talk about drugs together on ‘Real Time.’