Lena Dunham On Bill Cosby, Taylor Swift, & Jane The Virgin


Yay for HBO’s ‘Girls’ being back on air! And with the new season comes a whole load of new laughs and drama, which we can’t wait for beeteedubs.

Off air, the show’s two creators and showrunners (also known as Executive Producers) Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner are well-versed in tackling controversial topics both on-screen and off, whether related to the show or not.

In 2014 after the release of her book ‘Not That Kind Of Girl’ Lena Dunham came under intense scrutiny for a passage that described an encounter with her younger sister which many were upset about. People claimed it was akin to that of child sexual abuse.

Fast forward a few months later and another major TV star (one you would even call iconic) has been accused of many sexual assaults from multiple women. We’re talking about Bill Cosby of course, and Lena’s book excerpt faded into the background of the media’s memory.

One of the biggest issues about the Bill Cosby saga is the way it has divided certain celebrities, those who are for him and those who are against. True to feminist form, Lena is completely against the guy, because after all when so many women, over a number of years who don’t even know each other are coming forth with various stories, and some which bear striking similarities to one another, how can you make this stuff up?

Lena and her co-creator Jenni interviewed each other in Time Out’s New York edition and got to talking about this heated topic. Jenni mentions that their co-executive producer Judd Apatow has been one of the “lone mail voices” out there that has no qualms speaking up about how wrong it is. Lena concurs.

“The lone voice, the lone male voice, the fact that Judd is such a comedy fan. Like Judd’s whole DNA is a commitment to other comedians. You know, Judd was also one of the first people ever to speak out against Woody Allen. Before any of this happened, he was like, Sorry, Woody Allen marrying his daughter is creepy and it’s stopped me from liking his movies. Judd—he’s not moralistic, but he has a strong sense of morality, especially as a father of daughters. He is the most deeply appropriate male I have ever engaged with.”

“I saw someone call [Apatow] obsessed. If obsessed means trying to bring justice to all these women [reporting] being raped and drugged, God bless him. Bring on the obsession!” says Jenni.

“It’s sort of like saying someone’s obsessed with the Holocaust. It’s not ‘I’m so angry about Hulk Hogan’s sex tape.’ This is a huge issue, and it speaks to the way that we abuse power and the way that celebrity allows for injustice. Everyone else has gone, ‘Let’s hope it’s not true.’ Chris Rock, who’s an incredible guy and who has a strong sense of social justice, has basically said, ‘We’ll see’.”

She makes a great point about how gender lines and racial definitions can often dictate certain opinions amongst out current culture, especially when it comes to an issue where there is an obvious gender or race (or both!) sentiment attached to it. And with Bill Cosby, when you add the fact that he is such a well-loved TV an comedy icon, and has been for many DECADES, forming opinions seem to get complicated for some.

Just for the record, in our eyes, sexual assault and rape are crimes that should be punished no matter who you are, who you know, or how rich you are.


Aside from their conversation about this heavy topic, Lena and Jenni discuss the awesome work women are doing in TV these days and how the Golden Globes nominations reflected that. They also admitted that they are secretly trying to become BFFs with all the female showrunners in TV right now: Shonda Rhimes & Betsy Beers, Jennie Urman (‘Jane the Virgin’) and film producer Dede Gardner (President of Brad Pitt’s Plan B productions).

“This year, I was very excited about our Golden Globes category, because aside from one, every single show had a female showrunner,” says Jenni.

“It was incredible. Unheard of. It was really exciting,” responded Lena.

Also, it wouldn’t be an interview with Lena Dunham without mentioning one of her biggest celeb feminist friends Taylor Swift. Lena talks defensively about her pop star friend who has been accused of everything and anything in the media (especially because of her lyrics).

“Her image is as a woman in control and as a woman in power, but it’s also somewhat clean-cut, like the opposite of getting naked on television. She’s one of the pop artists who noticeably isn’t trafficking in her own sexuality. She has an America’s Sweetheart quality, and I have sometimes like a quarter of Americans’ demon quality. But she’s really comfortable supporting what I do and saying why she thinks it can also have the power to speak to women.”

Oh an note to every woman wanting to get into comedy or writing, aspire to work for someone like Judd Apatow because he is not one of those guys who will ever subscribe to the notion that “women aren’t funny” according to Lena and Jenni.

“I don’t feel as if I have a gender around him—in the best way. For Judd, it’s all about: Are you funny or interesting to talk to or not? Like, there is truly not a gender dynamic, and I feel so lucky to work with him.”





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