Finally, there’s a racially-charged controversy surrounding Lena Dunham that has nothing to do with the racial politics of Girls — or even Dunham herself, really.
Insult comic Lisa Lampanelli has never shied away from using controversial language in her standup act. But that didn’t stopped legions of Twitter users from being offended when Lampanelli tweeted a photo of herself with Dunham on Monday, adding a caption that reads, “Me with my n—a @LenaDunham of @HBOGirls — I love this beyotch!!” Here’s the tweet; obviously, there’s sensitive language ahead:
Lampanelli defended her word choice to the Huffington Post, saying that there’s a world of difference between the term “n—a” and “n—er.” The former “means ‘friend,'” she said, while the latter is a slur: “If I had put the word ending in ‘er,’ that would have been a very derogatory thing about Lena meaning she is less than me, and I view her as very above me. ‘A’ on the end means ‘my friend.'”
And furthermore, the comedian added, she sees no problems with using any offensive terms on or offstage. “I have been using these words since I started in comedy and guess what, people? I won’t stop anytime soon, just because your ass is up on Twitter,” she told HuffPo. “I have always used in my act every racial slur there is for Asians, blacks, gays, and Hispanics. To me, it’s acceptable if the joke is funny and if it is said in a context of no hate. It’s about taking the hate out of the word.”
Lena Dunham hasn’t responded to EW’s request for comment, and she also hasn’t addressed the controversy on her own Twitter page yet. Rest assured, though, that all this mess will somehow end up being dramatized in a future episode of Girls.