Actress and writer Lena Dunham says Hollywood is “rigged in favor of white people,” and it’s the reason her career took off at such a young age.
The creator of the HBO series “Girls” replied in a string of tweets Sunday to Black filmmakers and actors calling her out over a 2017 Hollywood Reporter tweet that said: “@LenaDunham was 23 when she sold #Girls to HBO with a page-and-a-half-long pitch, without a character nor a plot.”
Black film professor and Star Wars actor Ahmed Best tweeted: “I have a masters degree in film and teach film at a top tier university, An over twenty-five-year professional career and I walk into pitches with a fully realized bible pilot and seven-season arc, and often times told it’s not enough. But Lena Dunham, cool.”
To this, Dunham said she recognized her privilege and learned from it.
“Whenever I find out I’m trending, I have to immediately check if I’m alive! Then, I try and see if there’s a constructive dialogue to have on Twitter. Often there isn’t, but today there really WAS. It actually wasn’t a dialogue – it was just me agreeing that the Hollywood system is rigged in favor of white people and that my career took off at a young age with relative ease, ease I wasn’t able to recognize because I also didn’t know what privilege was,” she wrote.
“The past ten years have been a series of lessons. The lesson now? Sit down. Shut up, unless it’s to advocate for change for Black people. Listen. Make art in private for a while- no one needs your book right now, lady. Give reparations widely. Defund the police. Rinse & repeat,” she added.
Not only has Dunham benefited from her white privilege, but she is also the daughter of New York artists Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons, who are both well known and well connected in the industry.