BET writer accuses Lena Dunham of using "borderline racist" joke


Yesterday Lena Dunham, still riding high after winning some Golden Globe awards for her HBO series, 'Girls,' talked to Howard Stern as the two moved on from the media-created controversy surrounding his initial comments about her and her show, as well as his apology (which she accepted).

During the conversation, the topic turned to Dunham's weight. What started the firestorm was when Stern said last week that Dunham was a "little fat girl who looks like Jonah Hill." Dunham addressed that comment during their conversation.

"I'm not super-thin," she said. "But I'm thin for, like, Detroit."

I have been to Detroit and seen that the city has people from all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds, skin colors and religious beliefs living there. But Yesha Callahan, who writes for BET's 'Don't Sleep!' talk show, has accused Dunham of crossing the line with her "borderline racist" comment. 

"Detroit isn’t known for its population of white people," said Callahan, adding that Dunham was using a racial bias by calling the area (with a high population of black Americans) a "fat city."

“She doesn’t want to be judged for her size, so she shouldn’t judge an entire city on theirs," he added, but also said that “most people in the city of Detroit don’t know who [Dunham] is," therefore it was not a big deal.

Insert eye roll here.


- Lena Dunham
- Howard Stern

Written by: Hamatosan
Jan 18th, 2013, 3:32 pm


Message Posted On Jan 19th, 2013, 2:48 am
"Most people in Detroit don't know who [Dunham] is"... Is Yesha Callahan implying that the people of Detroit don't know who Dunham is because they can't afford pay-cable? That sounds "borderline racist".

Message Posted On Jan 18th, 2013, 10:20 pm
I got lost driving through Detroit a few times (I-75 how I hate thee) - to me it was striking, how the core of the city (and especially its most impoverished areas) was overwhelmingly populated by blacks, while the wealthier suburbs that surround it, were almost exclusively populated by whites. I realize that this extreme stratification is the standard for the United States (where blacks have gone from slavery-to sharecropping-to the Ghettos), but that, yet another example of the brutality of laissez faire (less-is-fair) was especially pronounced in Detroit (and I've been to most states in the US). Then again, I don't recall the weight of either suburban whites or urban blacks to have been in any way distinct from other US cities, where its pretty bad-fat across the board, for both populations. *** Maybe if this would-be 'brave' Girl would have the courage to ever speak about any of these (less-safe than-sex, sex, sex) issues... Shudder the thought. But, yeah, I seem to be missing something about this _joke_ - but also the hyperbole that followed it; and also, the hyperbole behind the show 'Girls.'

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Message Posted On Jan 18th, 2013, 9:39 pm

Anyone who writes for BET doesn't have much room to talk about "borderline racism."

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