While Lena Dunham was sitting pretty at the Golden Globe Awards carefully clad in Zac Posen, fans of her HBO series GIRLS were tuned into the season two premiere of the coming of age comedy.
During the opening scenes, while Lena and castmates were sipping spirits from the Golden Globe open bar, viewers were treated with a whole lot of jiggle tit bounce while Lena’s character Hannah had sex with the show’s first black character with a speaking role, none other than Community’s Donald Glover, also known as rapper Childish Gambino.
GIRLS chronicles 4 Brooklyn girls, who are fresh out of college and can afford a $2,000 a month apartment in Greenpoint, who previous to this sexual encounter, could also afford to not have interactions with one person of another race while living, working and playing in Brooklyn, New York.
That was, until season one got some serious backlash.
While Lena Dunham was being praised for her new take on television, with many calling GIRLS the “new Sex and the City,” pop culture critics like Toure were questioning the void of colored faces in the melting pot of New York City based loosely on Lena’s life.
After the first episode of season one last year, Toure tweeted:
“.@lenadunham Lena, I love Girls but how come there’s no Black people (except a bum)? Could a young NYer have no Black or brown friends?”
In a later interview with the Huffington Post, Lena admitted, in so many words, that she kind of forgot about all the different races of New York in season one:
When I get a tweet from a girl who’s like, “I’d love to watch the show, but I wish there were more women of color.” You know what? I do, too, and if we have the opportunity to do a second season, I’ll address that.
And address that she did, by wasting no time introducing Sandy, her new black lover who she is seeing behind her kinda boyfriend Adam’s back.
I could delve into the stereotypes associated with black males and sex, or the fact that none of Hannah’s friends know about Sandy’s presence, but it is too early in the season to make those assumptions.
With all of the aforementioned stated, I can’t help but feel that the addition of Donald Glover was a cheap cop out and a masked attempt at filling the role of the token black guy.
While all the characters are seemingly unknown in the acting world (with the exception of Zosia Mamet) GIRLS took the easy road by introducing an already known black actor who already resonated with GIRLS’ hipster audience from previous acting gigs.
In fewer words, we can just say they chose a safe black guy.
The show’s creator, Lena Dunham, writes from her own personal experience and as the real life daughter of two well-respected NYC artists, we can see how this is the only realistic integration of a black character that Lena could dream up.
I get it, GIRLS is edgy and daring, and fun, but just how inclusive is the show for “all of us” who aren’t Donald Glover? Guess we will have to wait for the season’s progression to find out.