It took two seasons and the ire of the Internet, but it's happening: Girls' third season will feature its first black female character. Orange Is the New Black stand-out Danielle Brooks is set to join the series.
Don't go clapping for Lena Dunham & Co. quite yet, though. First, as previously mentioned, this took two years. Second, we still don't know much of anything about the character in question.
Girls has been under fire for its race issues since before it even premiered; the lack of featured women of color (or, in the first season, just general characters of color at all) drew very valid critique. This isn't the English countryside of Downton Abbey, after all, it's modern New York; they can't exactly pretend they're going for "period accuracy." Aside from Donald Glover's small stint on the show in the beginning of last season, nary a black character has been witnessed.
This is, however, a step in the right direction. More black characters on a popular and (for the most part) critically acclaimed show means more characters for the twenty-something women of color in the audience to relate to. Representation matters, and though the steps here may be frustratingly small, steps are steps are steps.
Brooks announced the casting news in a recent interview with EBONY. Asked what she's up to professionally these days, she responded: "I just shot an episode of Girls for HBO. I will be the first Black woman to be on Girls, so that’s exciting for me. Other than that I just don’t know. I’m hoping Melissa McCarthy will hit a sister up.”
Honestly, we're genuinely excited for her to join the cast of Girls. She proved to be a break-out star of the first season of Orange Is the New Black and played prison inmate Taystee with some magic mixture of earnest disdain. And Girls won't cut into her time on OITNB, so we're looking forward to Brooks becoming more and more known as the kick-ass lady that she is.
Maybe it will even lead to that call from Melissa McCarthy we now desperately want Brooks to get.
In the meantime, you can watch Taystee's riff on white people below. It feels relevant.