Looking at the title, you might think this is that feminist manifesto you’ve been waiting for me to write. Well, I hate to disappoint you but it ain’t that. This is about the new HBO show “Girls”. The show recently came under fire for lacking diversity and comments made by one of the writers following the accusation.
Here’s one of the articles about it: http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/04/lesly_arfin_lead_writer_of_hbos_girls_referred_to_defecating_as_taking_obama_to_the_white_house.html
Let me start of by saying I’m not defending this show cause I think it’s great. Honestly, I’m kinda undecided on it. It’s got good and bad qualities but I feel like, if it goes down the right path, it could get interesting. I’m sticking up for this show cause people are fucking ridiculous.
The show “Girls” is about a group of 24ish year old young ladies living in NYC. It’s basically just showing the struggles people (but more specifically women) of that age have in the real world when college is done and their parents take off the leash. Another aspect, that needs to be bought up, is that these are girls who are from upper middle class families who moved to NYC to make a living. Girls who had a leg up before they even graduated college. That’s important , in respect to the criticism the show has been getting. While it’s a fictional show, it’s clear that the demographic this show is speaking on is pretty much the entire population of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Artsy, rich kids from other towns who come to NYC to either make it or to just be in the middle of something bigger than their shitty home town.
I’m about a decade older than this generation but I’m around it enough to know something…It’s white. It’s white like “sex in the city” world is white. It’s white like “game of thrones” world is white. It’s white like “2 and half men” is white”. I’m not saying the occasional non-whites don’t make guest appearances, but to be mad at this show for lacking racial diversity is like being mad at the your dinner for not fixing your car.
I know a huge part of the criticism is that “They’re in ny! One of the most diverse cities in the world!” But let me break some bad news to you…Yes, NYC is an incredibly diverse city. But that doesn’t mean everyone walks around , arms linked in some united colors of benetton lovefest. For the kids in williamsburg (particularly the type of girls portrayed in this show) it’s a pretty white world. Sure, all sorts of other races are around them every day but that doesn’t mean they socialize with them. And it’s not cause they don’t want to or cause they’re secretly afraid of puerto ricans…it’s cause they come from a predominantly white, post college social circle that most likely originated in some east coast liberal arts college. I’m actually impressed that the show stuck to the reality of it, instead of just throwing in a random black friend just to make every one happy (I call this the “T-dog effect” based on the character on The Walking Dead). In the end, what’s the point? To make the viewer feel better about their racially diverse tv watching habits? The bottom line is not every show needs to be this racial cornucopia just to please other white peoples racial needs. I’m pretty sure “Girls” has as much a following in the black and hispanic communities as “Enlightened” or “Party Down” does/did. No one was attacking them or numerous other shows for the same reason. And that brings me to the whole “people are ridiculous” point. I’m also pretty sure this all started cause some stupid fucking blogger was bored and felt like knit picking reasons to hate the show “Girls”. Of all the reasons to dislike this show, diversity should be way down on the list. Right behind “Not enough gory action” and “needs more victorian style clothing”. But, in 2012, one random dickhead can say something like “This show lacks diversity” and , because the internet is the internet, it becomes “A thing”. Well, I’m here to say, it’s not a thing.
I remember this ex-girlfriend I had who told me she didn’t like the movie “squid and the whale” cause it was too predictable. Now, it’s kind of an obscure movie (kinda) but that shit always rubbed me the wrong way cause it simply didn’t apply to that movie as a criticism. It wasn’t a cliffhanger or a horror movie. It was a story about a fucked up family. There were no spoilers. That’s the same thing to me as people being mad at the lack of Diversity in “Girls”. It simply doesn’t apply.
It seems like riling people up is just too easy nowadays. Everyone constantly wants to be “outraged” by something but no one picks their battles. This is a case of that and anyone disagreeing needs to calm down and find something actually worth your vitriol and focus on that.
I dont’ care if you hate the show itself. Hell, in two episodes, I might hate it too. But hate things for the right reason. Cause they suck. Not cause of some made up issue that fits some weird agenda that has no relation to the show in the first place.
I’d also like to add that the writer in question, Lesley Arfin, is someone I’ve known for for a while now. We’re not close friends or anything but I know her well enough to say that the two things she wrote that are angering “people” (I use quotations cause I truly don’t believe any real person is actually mad at these things) were obvious jokes. One was a joke tweet to show just how ridiculous it is to hate on Girls due to it’s lack of diversity. Should she have been a little more careful with her words? sure. But the fact remains, it was a joke and it did get across her point. honestly, I tweet far more offensive things on a daily basis. The other thing was a joke about taking a shit. “Taking the obama’s to the white house ” is just an update on “Taking the cosby kids to the pool”. Is it funny? not really. It’s really more corny than distasteful if you ask me…but it’s also not the end of the world. Whatever happened to having thick skin? The pussification of this country has gotten out of control. We live in a reactionary world where people seem to want to be upset about things more than I truly believe they’re even capable of being in real life. Jokes , people…they’re not serious. That’s why they’re called jokes.