Lena Dunham Praises Kathy Griffin After 'Fashion Police' Exit & Her Words Serve As An Important Reminder For Comedians
Kathy Griffin is getting some love from a fellow comedienne for her decision to leave Fashion Police. Griffin, who announced her departure from the E! show on March 12 after appearing on only seven episodes, found support from none other than Lena Dunham. Lena Dunham praised Kathy Griffin on Instagram for her decision, saying in a photo caption, "Congrats to my beautiful friend Kathy Griffin for bravely saying enough is enough to intolerance of all kinds on television." The photo was an old black and white photo of Griffin wearing Minnie Mouse ears, and Dunham added, "She's modeling a better way for the youths (and working those ears.)"
As Fashion Police fans probably all know by now, Griffin cited her reasons for leaving the show on her Twitter as stylistic and creative differences with the direction of the series. Specifically, Griffin said, "I do not want to use my comedy to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance toward difference." Griffin did not refer specifically to the controversial statements that her former co-host Giuliana Rancic said about Zendaya's dreadlocks, but it cannot be ignored that this departure comes not long after the foot-in-mouth moment and the subsequent cultural conversation about commentary that could be seen as racially offensive, even when not intended that way.
Dunham, who is no stranger to body criticism or stirring up controversy herself, serves an extra reminder for all comedians to pay extra mind to discourse regarding diversity — not just diversity in race, but diversity as a whole. After all, Griffin made a reference to enjoying humor about outfits without bringing people's bodies into it, including, but not limited to, skin color.
Dunham unfortunately knows the phenomenon of body shaming in Hollywood all too well. Considering that she is definitely not shy about showing off her figure that is fuller than many of her Hollywood counterparts, she has gotten a lot of heat from the press for the way she looks. It is worth keeping in mind that there is a person on the receiving end of jokes, and cutting someone down for an aspect of their appearance — whether it is a hairstyle that pays homage to one's ethnic roots or having a few extra pounds on you than your peers — can be very harmful to their self image, as well as to others who look up to them as role models.
However, it is also worth mentioning that Dunham does not have a spotlessly clean record herself when it comes to matters of diversity. She remained silent while a fellow comedienne referred to her as the N-word in a controversial photo caption. She has also has drawn criticism for a photo in which she wore a pseudo hijab and also for the noticeable lack of racial diversity on her show, Girls, despite the series being set in New York City of all places.
That being said, no one is the perfect comedian. And if you're making a living by making jokes at others' expense, you're bound to offend someone or cross some sort of line at some point. People make mistakes, after all. But it doesn't mean that those in the comedy world shouldn't think twice before they make people laugh.
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