James Franco and Me vs. HBO’s ‘Girls’

I can’t say I ever thought James Franco would be able to so eloquently take the words right out of my mouth when it came to the Lena Dunham created HBO show “Girls”. I haven’t seen much of his work and have often written him off as a “King of the Hipsters”–not a group I consciously identify with in any way, shape, or form.

However, he totally justifies critics’ (and my) complaints about the complete white washing of a show set in New York City–arguably one of the most diverse cities in our country.

The most reliable of sources, Wikipedia, notes that in the pilot episode “the only black actors in the pilot were a homeless man and a taxi driver, and the only Asian actress had the sole trait of being good with a piece of computer software.”

Jolly good representation of our society, Lena. Screw gender stereotypes, let’s go straight for race!

Before I read this Huffington Post article that Franco wrote, I didn’t stop to think how this show also misrepresents the male version of our species, as well (at least they get to be in the damn show). But there are plenty of other male centric shows, so that’s not what I want to focus on here.

He raises some interesting points about the race card, my favorite being the following quote:

“I guess all I have to say about the topic is that, because TV is such a popular medium, HBO has a responsibility to represent its subjects accurately, especially when the network is selling a show as a representation of young New York. There’s no obligation to be kaleidoscopic, but there is a difference between writing a short story or essay about a bunch of white people that only a handful of people will read and creating another show about white people that millions of people will watch, especially when you’ve chosen to set that show in one of the most culturally mixed cities in the world.”

Why not just call the show “White Girls” and be honest with people?

This will always be the reason I will choose not to watch this show–

–that, and I think one of the writers, Lesley Arfin, is a racist hiding behind the shield of “comedic license”.

-–that, and the focus of every episode is the over-sexualized life of my overprivileged, whiny, Caucasian contemporaries…hard to stomach when one has actual problems attempting to pursue a creative lifestyle and career while making ends meet in a big city like Los Angeles.

I am here. I am doing this, too. I have white friends!

This probably also explains my irrational distaste for Lena Dunham–someone who I should deeply admire for the leaps and bounds she’s made in the industry at such a young age (I think she’s 26).

So, Lena, when you feel like opening up your isolated white fantasy to the more colorful actors of our profession, call me. I’ll choke back my pride and help you gain redemption.

Not because of the paycheck; rather, because I’m fairly magnanimous.

And also for the paycheck, to be honest.

But, seriously, I wouldn’t do it even then.

Franco agrees.



One thought on “James Franco and Me vs. HBO’s ‘Girls’

  1. Pingback: Spoiler-Free Thoughts on “American Hustle” | Short and Feisty

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