Lena Dunham didn't speak to the press at the Writers Guild Awards last Sunday, nor did she give a long speech when she accepted the trophy for best new series. And yet, she still finds herself embroiled in a controversy that launched during the show, even though it was none of her doing.
Comedian and presenter Lisa Lampanelli, who is famously known for her foul mouth, tweeted a photo of herself and Dunham at the awards, with the caption "Me with my n---a @LenaDunham of @HBOGirls - I love this beyotch!" Predictably, the tweet fired up critics, angry at Lampanelli -- a white woman -- for using the word.
One writer, Shayla Pierce, wrote several stories for various online publications expressing her outrage, and then took to Twitter to call out Dunham for not condemning Lampanelli.
".@LenaDunham has showed her true colors on this whole n-word debacle. Her silence speaks volumes," she tweeted. "I don't think I'll be watching @girlsHBO anymore. And I say that with honest sadness... Lena advertises herself as a progressive but she's chosen not to address the situation. She seems phony to me now."
Dunham responded on Twitter, writing that she would never use the n-word and that Lampanelli's tweet made her "supremely uncomfortable," but stayed silent because "twitter debates breed more twitter debates."
She added that "140 characters will never be enough for the kind of dialogue that will actually help us address issues of race and class," and then commended Pierce for a "beautifully written piece," apologizing for any discomfort she may have felt.
Pierce happily accepted her response, writing, "Thank you so much. And I do <3 you and your work. Thanks for addressing this *hugsies* @lenadunham."
For her part, Lampanelli has defended her use of the word, saying "The N-word ending in 'er' is far different context from the word ending in 'a.' Ask any person who knows the urban dictionary, it means 'friend."