For the most part, we were fans of Lena Dunham‘s new HBO series Girls because we felt that it captured the awkwardness and struggles of our twenties with more realism than we’ve seen on television before. But a new joke poster seems intent on arguing against that point, by showing that the comedy’s four stars are not the Everywomen we’re hailing them as. This Girls nepotism poster began making the rounds on the internet over the past twenty-four hours. Instead of the actresses’ names, it brands each girl by her famous parent.
The most obvious for me are Allison Williams, with her famous father Brian Williams from NBC, and Zosia Mamet, whose father is the playwright David Mamet. But Jemima Kirke‘s dad is a drummer, and Lena’s mother is an artist, so both girls have also known more success and privilege than your average twentysomething. And that can be upsetting for viewers, who are meant to take these characters as indicative of the Millennial generation.
The Jane Dough lauded the poster, arguing that it would have brought much more gravity to the show to cast at least one person who didn’t have familial ties within the entertainment industry:
Hollywood is an “all about who you know” business, but I’ve been most inspired by its success stories of people who worked their way up through persistence and talent without the celeb parents boost, and just one of these types could have brought some balance to Girls.
Weirdly enough, backlash to this backlash poster came from actor Crispin Glover, who wrote an insightful rebuttal on his Tumblr. You should read the whole thing, but here’s the beginning:
I don’t think people understand what a hot load of misogyny this mock poster is blowing. There is no doubt that privilege gets us everything in life. But there is also no way that HBO is going to give someone a TV show based solely on who their parents are. The channel that does that is E!, ok? It makes me so angry that everyone wants to reduce the hard work and creativity and risks that went into this show to nepotism.
To be fair, these young women are famous within New York circles, but not to the public at large. Not everyone sees Mamet plays or goes to Bad Company shows, so to many viewers these girls might as well be unknowns. If it only bothers young women struggling to make it in New York… well, as the show proves, we’ve got a lot more important things to worry about.
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Photo: Newsweek’s Tumblr