Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages; Everett Collection/REX USA.
Even if you have a casual viewing relationship with Girls, you know that its main character, Lena Dunham's Hannah Horvath, is naked — a lot. And, perhaps that doesn't feel strange to you. After all, you're a human, and she's a human, and sometimes humans get naked. Whether it's out of choice or necessity, nudity is simply a fact of life. But, at a recent Television Critics Association panel, reporter Tim Molloy wanted to understand why Hannah, and seemingly only Hannah, is naked so often. What he got, however, was some major criticism from not only Dunham, but executive producers Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner.
So, what exactly did Molloy ask? “I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on Game of Thrones, but I get why they’re doing it. They’re doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason.” Obviously, this caused a bit of a stir. Dunham simply replied that people are naked sometimes, though she added, "I totally get it if you're not into me. That's your problem." Apatow then took his turn, saying the reporter's question was "sexist, offensive, and misogynistic." Konner, too, expressed disbelief that Molloy felt he could "talk to a woman" that way. To defend his question, he explained "if Dunham wants to be naked, great. I’m not offended by it. I don’t like it or not like it. I just don’t get the artistic reason for it, and want to understand it, because I’m a TV critic." Apatow argues that it's because Dunham is braver than other characters. Thus, she takes greater artistic risks.
While we're sure Molloy meant no harm by his question, we can see where Dunham and team would take offense. Being naked in front of millions of people is a big deal, no matter how "brave" an actor may be. And, though we may have assigned it to her, Dunham carries the burden of being the poster child of twentysomething women in New York. So, when a male reporter asks the point of Hannah's nudity, it may have seemed like he was trivializing it. Molloy notes that his girlfriend, with whom he watches Girls regularly, failed to catch the offensive nature of his question, and was herself curious about Dunham's nudity. The problem with his question is not in its content, but in its comparison to another show (Game of Thrones) in which women are, as he says, salaciously nude. We can sympathize, however, with the nerves of addressing the high-profile interviewee. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, words just don't come out of your mouth as thoughtfully as you had imagined. (The Wrap)