The internet is split in half over Lena Dunham, but her SXSW speech is sure to tip the scales a bit.
Lena Dunham’s speech at SXSW was everything her supporters wanted it to be. The Girls creator did apologize again for that highly publicized molestation tweet – an actual full apology this time. It was about time, after the Twitter hate had been simmering for a couple of days. At the time she tweeted: ”I just made and deleted a not so great molestation joke. Sorry guys. I am really sleepy. SNL has a way bigger audience than our usual cozy girls audience, so I was seeing a rash of very different kinds of twitter rage.”
Lena Dunham gets it wrong often, but when it's right, it's very, very right.
In back-to-back tweets she added, “But I should know better, and do. Even naked girls get embarrassed. Sleep well and thanks for an amazing weekend.” It wasn’t enough to quell that infamous online rage. More to the point, Dunham talked about her experience in filmmaking, about funding for projects and her favorite topic, women in film and television, according to Variety. Dunham explained her “beg, borrow and steal” mentality when it comes to filmmaking. In the early days of her career, she maxed out a credit card, donated her $5,000 worth of babysitting funds, borrowed money from her parents and her best friend’s parents to make her DIY movies. According to her philosophy, creators have to create, no excuses. As she put it, “lack of budget is no longer an excuse. (I realized) holding up a camera and letting people wander around documentary style is no longer acceptable.”
The joke in question was definitely a bad idea, but Dunham was quick to apologise.
I just made and deleted a not so great molestation joke. Sorry guys. I am really sleepy.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) March 10, 2014
The feminism issue – the one that’s gotten Dunham on so many people’s bad sides – was bound to crop up at some point as well. The Girls creator explained that by taking on four jobs on the show, she’s working towards changing the role of women in Hollywood. Not only is there “no place right now for [Dunham] in studio-funded movies,” her co-stars Zosia Mamet and Allison Williams have yet to see parts that offer them a chance “to stretch their legs,” Dunham said – as opposed to the wide variety of opportunities Adam Driver has been offered. She drew on Cate Blanchett’s Oscar acceptance speech and a quote from dance legend Martha Graham to add to her point. All in all, the speech proved that Dunham could sound much more put together (and less offensive), when she’d actually prepared a speech, than when she was defending herself in 140-characters at a time over an (admittedly really bad) joke tweet.
Dunham appealed for equal opportunities for herself and her female colleagues.