Lena Dunham (of the $3.5 mil autobio) says people who write for money are ‘weird’

Lena Dunham

I’ll be perfectly honest here in that I don’t know too terribly much about Lena Dunham. She’s one of those ironic hipsters who not only pens but also annoyingly acts within HBO’s “Girls” series, and she recently scored a $3.5 million payday for her very first (as yet unwritten) book. She is also now part of Judd Apatow’s crew because she published an essay for This is 40, and she is described by the Hollywood Reporter as Apatow’s new “prized pupil.” Once you’re part of Apatow’s club, you are seldom thrown to the wayside (just ask Paul Rudd or Apatow’s own wife, Leslie Mann) unless (like Katherine Heigl) you dare to speak against the master. So Lena Dunham had best be careful how she operates in the future and stay on Apatow’s good side, but she’s making an odd start in this essay by turning her nose up to writers who dare to get paid for their services. She’s not really trying to make friends outside her little group, is she?

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham Doesn’t Write For Money And Doesn’t Think You Should Either

This statement comes at the beginning of an essay she penned for the published screenplay for Judd Apatow’s This is 40, where Dunham ponders the “many reasons” people write which include “glory” and the ability to use the keyboard to “figure things out.”

As for filthy lucre? That’s deemed “a weird plan.”

On one hand, this statement makes complete sense. Most writers barely make a dime from writing, something a cursory look at the Who Pays Tumblr can demonstrate. Going into the field to make a few shekels is about an effective a strategy as moving to Casablanca for the waters, despite the fact that, once upon a time, Charles Dickens not only wrote for money, he was pilloried by critics for doing just that.

On the other hand, people do need to pay the rent, and it isn’t exactly nice to discover that someone who is earning $3.5 million for her musings is so clueless about the things the rest of the world often needs to take on to get by like, say, corporate writing gigs or staff positions on television programs on that can kindly be described as less profound than “Girls.” It gives ammunition to all of those critics, formerly thought of as humorless, who pointed out the absurdity of presenting Dunham’s Girls as a generational statement as if all Millennials come from a privileged, artistic background. They just need space, time and an understanding boss so they can find their way in the world after their well-off parents pull the financial plug.

Let me be clear: Dunham’s Hannah, the autobiographical character she created for “Girls,” does not suffer from a permanent shortage of funds. She could be better described as having a cash-flow problem, which is not the same thing at all. This is the sort of situation that gives one the freedom to say writing for money is “weird.”

Here’s hoping the next season of “Girls” takes this issue on.

[From Forbes]

I speak from the perspective of someone who has never watched “Girls,” but CB has watched the show and confirmed that Lena’s character does have a “a cash-flow problem“; and even though she comes from an upper-middle-class family, her parents have cut her off, so she’s very “cash poor” and subsists by the good grace of her friends and crappy jobs. I honestly don’t see why Lena’s zeroing in on people who write for money, and if Lena’s character is truly autobiographical, it makes even less sense that she’d pick on a profession that’s very hard to break into and even harder to make a living while doing. Unless, that is, Lena’s trying to convince the world that her own unexpected financial success (seriously, $3.5 mill in a time when many publishers are struggling to hold their doors open?) was an unintended side effect of her hipster cred. Like hipster karma or something.

Incidentally, Lena has also just also posed for Entertainment Weekly in a new Twiggy-inspired pictorial. Accordingly, she was ironically observed to have been “obsessed with her final transformation” and was spotted taking photos of herself in the mirror after the shoot. Naturally.

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham

Photos courtesy of EW.com and WENN

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124 Responses to “Lena Dunham (of the $3.5 mil autobio) says people who write for money are ‘weird’”

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  1. Micki says:

    Young and naive.
    And she looks ridiculous in the iconic Jolie pose.

  2. gee says:

    She’s annoying, but I really like Girls. It’s a conundrum.

    • Bubbling says:

      yes, she is terribly annoying but the series are cool, right? Not mind blowing, or anything just…slightly better then the usual crap…

  3. RN says:

    She seems to have a bit of a chip on her shoulder and is trying to pass off her bitterness as hipster street cred. I too don’t know much about her (besides seeing pictures of her in that horrid long dress) but betcha dollars to doughnuts she was raised in a financially-privileged household. People who come from money are so quick to tell others who didn’t exactly how they should be earning a living.

    • someone says:

      yeah, i think her family is pretty well off. something about both her parents being pretty well-known artists? not sure exactly.

  4. lilred1 says:

    holy,pretentious much.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      I agree! Ugh!! She is insufferable. I watched all the ‘Girls’ episodes, waiting for something funny or entertaining to happen ….crickets…all season. Completely overrated show IMHO…will not be tuning in for season 2…and that is total sh*t that she gets paid 3.5 for an unwritten work…and then turn around and shame writers for making money. No – doing that is the true shame. NOT A FAN. Ughhhh

      • girl says:

        I agree though I wasn’t as charitable as you with how much of the show I watched. And I normally love HBO series no matter how much they clash with my own views (Six Feet Under is probably my favorite series of all time). Major props to her for not being a stick figure like most other women on TV but I honestly don’t get the appeal of her.

  5. Lupe says:

    Apatow produces Girls. She’s been tight with him for awhile.

  6. Ms Kay says:

    She should hang out with that half man who found solace in God (Angus Jones is it?)…

  7. Garvels says:

    She must never have had to work for money in order to earn her keep. I am willing to bet that she lives off of a trust fund.

  8. HotPockets says:

    I wonder if she would even be writing her auto biography if it weren’t for her big pay day? I am guessing no.

    I have never watched her show, but I hear a lot of mixed things about it, mostly that it’s a glimpse in the life of a sheltered, well to do, wannabe hipster. I can go walk around on campus for free if I want to see that.

  9. Jenny says:

    I get the impression that she’s talking about people who write for the sole reason of making money rather than for the love of it

    • Skipper says:

      Me too. There really isn’t enough context or info here to judge.

    • KC says:

      Even if that’s what she meant some people still have to make a living and everyone doesn’t love their job. Are accountants weird if they go to their job every day even though they don’t do it for the “glory?”

  10. Happyhat says:

    No description makes me lose interest in someone quicker than ‘hipster’.

  11. kay says:

    who is this?

  12. Beatrice Sparkplug says:

    Never watched Girls, not remotely interested in voluntarily watching any kind of portrayals of hipsterdom after living through the ‘L train explosion’ in real life. But seriously, this is the biggest BITCH PLEASE ever. The only thing worse than writing for money, in this case, is being so hypocritical that you’re blind to your own fortune. It’s a dis to other, less privileged artists who don’t have the hipster status, and privilege, to trade in on.

    I’ve got an idea, if the money is truly not an issue — create a fund for emerging artists and writers from that $3.5 million paycheck.

    • Minty says:


      This chick is after money and fame. I wouldn’t be surprised if she plans to sell her own fragrance to help build her ‘brand’. Hell, if Pizza Hut in Canada can do it, what’s stopping her?

  13. BangBang says:

    I know for a fact Lena’s parents never cut her off, she has lived a charmed life. Her parents are really really great and have given her the support she needed. The result is a kind of a spoiled forever teenager who cannot see how priviliged her life has been. It’s kind of like Gwyneth Paltrow talk about how very very hard she has worked. No self awarness. That’s why she can be so flippant about money.

    I do admit her show is very good though.

    • Annelise says:

      Hmm, with that description she makes a lot more sense. It’s still hard to imagine how someone could be so blind to their own privilege, though.

  14. ds says:

    I’ve seen few episode of Girls, and though some of my friends find it amusing I just want to vomit; ’cause if they are the voice of a certain generation this planet has no future.

  15. LadyMTL says:

    Ugh, I just can’t with her. I watched a few eps of Girls and thought it was alright, but she’s so up her own a*s that I’m sick of her already. I understand her point about thinking you’re going to get rich through writing is silly but coming from someone who has a 3.5 million dollar book deal…it’s simply eye-rollingly laughable. Go away, Lena Dunham.

  16. Sloane Wyatt says:

    Spoiled and condescending remarks trashing other writers from someone who makes their living writing and acting is, unfortunately, not shocking. Lena has had some good breaks and needs to appreciate what she has rather than opining other people are ‘weird’.

    She’s distasteful, and her snotty attitude does nothing to promote her show.

  17. BangBang says:

    And Judd totally blacklisted Linda Cardelini because she broke up with Jason Siegel. Fact.

    • neelyo says:

      That’s awful. I love Linda Cardellini. If true, that would explain her very low profile.

    • sal says:

      do tell more!

    • Poink says:

      Ahh, that’s why she doesn’t seem to be around! Hubby and I just watched freaks and geeks for the first time and it seems that everyone on that show has had fairly big gigs since then except for Linda. We were wondering why, because we both really liked her!

      • BangBang says:

        It’s a huge sort of clique, the Judd Apatow clique and those guys are *tight* Jason Sigel is a big baby and devestated when Cardelini broke it off. Forgetting Sarah marshall is about the breakup. What’s funny is that now he’s dating Busy Phillip’s bestie Michelle Williams.

  18. marie says:

    the more this girl talks, the more I dislike her, which is sad because I know very little about her..

  19. INeedANap says:

    I hate irony. If you don’t have the guts to be sincere, then I’d call you a coward, not ironic.

    And I used to like Dunham. I didn’t relate to anything she created but I appreciated that she was working hard. Now I think that impression may have been wrong. She’s also an idiot if she doesn’t think her own scorn applies to herself.

    • Cazzee says:

      An uneducated idiot, at that – has she really never heard that famous quote from Samuel Johnson???

      “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money,” Samuel Johnson.

  20. Ally says:

    I’d like to read the essay before passing judgement. She could be talking about intent, when you start writing creatively it would be difficult if you were thinking about the money.

    I’m strangely fascinated by Girls, I can’t stop watching it, even though I’m from a completely different generation.

    • Annelise says:

      That’s how I interpreted the title of the article, too. She probably compartmentalizes these things.

    • Maya says:

      Thank you! Everyone’s so quick to jump on anything here. This is taken out of context.

      I love “Girls” and I find Lena Dunham incredibly intelligent, thoughtful and hilarious. She writes, directs and acts in “Girls.” People can say what they want about her, but no amount of parents’ money is going to make you successful in all those things if you don’t have talent to go along with it. Clearly she’s talented.

    • Liza says:

      Exactly! Come on, people. She said writing for money was “a weird plan.” I read the essay, and she clearly meant that to set out to be a writer with the goal of making a ton of money was probably not the best idea. Because most artistic types, including writers, do not become rich. She is the exception, because she is hardworking, brave, and yes, exceptionally talented. It makes me sad that so many people hate on her. I personally think she is the 26 year old female Woody Allen! I look forward to season 2 of Girls.

  21. Sara says:

    I like Girls,… but it’s soooooo overhyped, It’s a good show,… that’s all. There are plenty of good shows out there.
    but her fans says that she is genius….
    etc… c’mon people need to wake up

  22. Dani says:

    Good God I HATE this girl. Pretentious hipster at their best. If people who write for money, doesn’t she act for money? It is her career after all.

  23. KellyinSeattle says:

    So all the authors out there who wrote our beloved classics were weird. Maybe she tries to be say that they’re artistic. I can’t see many people buying her book; I never ever have heard of her , nor watched her show. But she really needs to get help w/ the way she dresses, and she certainly shouldn’t be wearing anything sleeveless.

  24. Lindsey says:

    I don’t even have words for this type of obviously hypocritical f*ckery right now. I have not had my coffee and as a working writer, that aint not good.

  25. Marisa says:

    Sorry, can’t stand her

  26. Gine says:

    Ugh, she seems so annoying. And those publishers are idiots. I know Girls got a lot of buzz on the Internet, but most people still have no idea who she is. If they were banking on her “star power” selling her book, I think they’re in for a BIG disappointment.

    • Cazzee says:

      It’s a stunning advance. Do they really believe that they’re going to sell five million copies of this person’s autobiography? Because that’s how many they are going to have to sell to turn a profit.

      When I think about the people I went to school with who went into publishing, it’s a lot of folks with no experience making money….but plenty of experience having money. No concept of the mainstream or what regular people’s lives are like; no concept of value.

      Publishing is dead because of the people who work in it.

    • Minty says:

      Those are truly legitimate reasons. Wow, this bitch is missing a sensitivity chip. I guess in her fortress of privilege and comfort there was no room for empathy.

      She reminds me of a former co-worker who grew up in an affluent family. He never had to struggle and he was lazy at work. He was similar to Lena in that he made flippant jokes about violence, gore and murder victims. He lacked empathy for the hardships of others. No surprise, since he had everything handed to him, had yet to experience even minor difficulties himself. Well, if he ever learns, he is going to learn the hard way. And hopefully, someone will make a flippant joke about it to his face.

    • weslyn says:

      Ugh..clicked on the hijab story and saw that Mercy the kitty is dead??

  27. La Calabaza says:

    Can we make her go away? This girl and Kristen Stewart are nothing but disgraceful brats. Many people would kill to be in their shoes and they acted like their are doing us a favor. Please, b*tch!

  28. lambchops says:

    I stopped at $3.5 million for an autobiography by a very uninteresting person who has not yet lived a long, interesting life. Traditional publishing is dying and this is exactly why. So many good good books from just ten years ago wouldn’t be published now. First Pippa Middleton’s book and now this. Really?

  29. lem says:

    I’ve watched a few episodes of Girls and I don’t f*cking get it. It seemed to me that the whole show just reaffirmed every awful stereotype of women out there. To me, she is more try-hard and offensive than Kristen Stewart.

  30. Leen says:

    Weird, she used the word shekel. Is that suppose to be hipster now? because it just sounds stupid imo (and yeah I use shekels, currency of where I live so).

  31. Lexi says:

    Never ‘eard of this Heffa!

  32. Chordy says:

    I like Girls, and I think I’ll even like Lena Dunham in about 10 years. She seems like a smart girl from a privileged class who’s a good writer and has been told how bright and insightful she is since the day she started speaking. Hopefully success didn’t come too early for her, and she can still manage to stop being so up her own ass one day.

  33. BeefJerky says:

    Wow, can no one read between the lines? This is the problem with gossip sites- you harpies are the first to jump down someone’s throat when you perceive any slight wrong doing or misquote.

    I took it as “people who write not for the pleasure of writing or expressing a point of view, seeing it as art, etc., is weird” – TO HER.

    I bake for a living, use artisanal ingredients, labor over flavor combinations. I love baking. Someone working in a retail supermarket bakery shoving frozen cookies into an oven probably doesn’t give a sh*t about ‘baking’ and just wants to get paid. Same point she’s trying to make.

    • Gine says:

      Yeah, and our point is that it’s a LUXURY to be able to do what you want to do just because you want to do it. Most people HAVE to hustle in whatever way for money because they weren’t lucky enough to be born to rich parents who have supported them their whole lives. Dunham comes across as a clueless, spoiled brat, not to mention a hypocrite, considering how much she accepted for her book. She’s writing that for, what, her health?

      Saying it’s “weird” that someone would write for money just shows how privileged and out of touch she is.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Agree with Gine.

        I get what you’re saying, BeefJerky, what I don’t get is why you have a chip on your shoulder about it. Why can’t there be room on this huge, food-loving planet for retail supermarket bakeries and the small artisanal mom & pop places?

        This reminds me of a lot of the kids I went to college with (went to art school) always bitching about fine art versus commercial art. At the end of the day does it really matter? People like crappy croissants and people like bad design. If you need to get angry and blame someone, then blame the people who are demanding that stuff, not the suppliers–people who rightly want to make money however they can.

    • Minty says:

      Hmmm, let’s see…she writes (and stars in) her own show for HBO. She has signed up to write a book for $3.5 million. She always casts herself in the other films she’s directed/produced. A basic search reveals she’s had small parts in other people’s movies. Conclusion: this chick is pursuing fame and money hard. It’s that transparent.

      I don’t see her establishing her love of the written word through the publishing route or through magazine/newspaper artices, whether online or on paper. She’s all about being in Hollywood. Does she think she’s hiding her famewhore tendencies with her disingenuous statement? And if she really self-identifies with hipsters, she’s pathetic. A hipster is just another form of poseur. Too insecure to be themselves, they adopt a facade of pretension and think irony is something you wear, LOL.

      And to get on a really superficial level, this harpy thinks Lena is a plain Jane who believes she’s got the looks and charisma to be a major star. LOL, not happening. She could possibly have a long career in Hollywood, but it will probably be behind-the-scenes. Or she can be the star’s less pretty BFF for a while, the kind of thankless roles Rosie O’Donnell and Chelsea Handler have played.

    • Jane says:

      It is a very naive thing for her to say and clearly shows her lack of certain life experiences. If she truly feels that way, why did she accept the $3.5? Just because it is customary to paid for a writing book?

      She could self publish if she really believed what she said. She could bypass the big check from the publisher and be an independent author and see what happens.

    • j.eyre says:

      I, too, tried to understand what she was really saying. I tried to context it in the same way that you did, BeefJerky. However, that did not really lessen the blow.
      To use your own example of the baker shoving cookies in the oven – maybe that baker goes home and gently presses still chilled butter into flour and massages it until it becomes fluffy enough dough to form a beautiful croissant? But nobody is paying that baker for his calvados infused tarte tartin so he MUST shove those cookies in the oven to afford his passion at home.
      I write any time my muse steals upon me; well into the night when I need to rise at 5am, while my children pepper me with homework questions, while I sit at my husband’s side so I can enjoy both of my true loves together. I love it, I bleed it – and I would write a greeting card if it allowed me to pay the rent. Having to Write for Money and Not Having To are two entirely different worlds.

      This particular gossip-site harpy only knows the “have to” one so you will forgive me if I take some offense to Ms. Dunham’s words.

      • Sweet Dee says:

        @ j.eyre: Beautifully stated.

      • LittleDeadGirl says:

        Well written and I so agree. She seems like every young kid in college I met that didn’t understand they’d have to support themselves someday. They just talked about “I’m only gonna do a job I love and if it’s stupid I’ll quit” all while being supported by momma and daddy. Totally clueless and self involved. I tried watching her show but she gave off the same impression she gives now.

    • KC says:

      BeefJerky, if you’re ever trying to make a point, try to avoid calling everyone harpies in the second line. Or any other type of insult really.

      And I cosign what Gine, TheOriginalKitten, Minty, Jane, and j.eyre said.

  34. RobN says:

    She’s burning through her 15 minutes at record pace. Last week I thought she was kind of talented; this week I think she’s an entitled brat. That’s not a good trajectory.

  35. Nev says:

    Love her and the show!!! She’s on point in her approach and soooo new. Not standard. And funny. Go on!

  36. Sweet Dee says:

    Reasons to write a book titled “Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned,” for $3.5M:

    1. Narcissism
    2. MONEY

    As an amateur writer, who would LOVE to make money doing what I am passionate about, I was initially offended but it soon wore off because I place no import on the words of privileged people who look down on the rest. Am I biased due to my upbringing? Sure, but how is wanting to be successful at my dream job any different than artists or musicians or actors who desire the same thing?

    I get that to her since I’m passionate it might not count, but do brokers and real estate agents and accountants do their jobs because they are passionate about them always? Do garbage men and women? Do road workers and baristas do it for the love of roads and coffee? Not everybody gets to do what they want, in the real world people work for their money, and that’s okay. /rant over

    • Jane says:

      I read a lot. I don’t really care about what motivates a story teller with the exception of some authors who (I feel) exploit someone else or a tragic circumstance.

      I just want to read a good story and if any given author wants to write it for the money, that is their business. My job is to try and decide what I want to spend my on, not what motivated the author.

      Good luck with your writing and hopefully you will make a living at it at the same time.

      • Sweet Dee says:

        @Jane–Thank you for the good luck wish!

        You bring up the great point that writing is largely done for the sake of the reader. I could not care less if, say, JK Rowling announced that she doesn’t care for her craft but at all and simply does it for the money because she knows it’s good money (and for her, it is). The readers pay to read it for entertainment, we don’t buy books based on the author’s motivation.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      @Sweet Dee. EXACTLY.

      I went to Art College and would have LOVED to make money drawing cool pictures all day but I ended up in financial insurance. Am I passionate about financial insurance? WTF do you think? 😉

      I do it so I can live in an expensive city that I love and buy a cashmere sweater for myself now and then. I got over that self-conscious feeling of being a “sell out” three years ago when I realized I actually have a decent savings. Eff this chick & her art snobbery.

      • Sweet Dee says:

        @OKitten–good for you! You’re taking care of yourself by working in the real world, where Lena does not live.

        I wholeheartedly believe in living life OUTSIDE my career, which is in clinical research. I have a decent gig: it’s interesting, fulfilling, pays the bills and comes with great benefits like a 4-day workweek, so I don’t knock it. The next promotion I get will make it quite lucrative. Am I passionate about it? Meh. Some people are, and I admire them, but if I could sit in a recliner and weave my tales (for dollas) all day I would.

        I reiterate your words: eff this chick and her art snobbery. And may I add…her and her ART would go well with Franco. We could call them Franham, or Frankenham.

  37. Mely says:

    Smh right now. I started watching the show after hearing all the hype about it. I liked it, not loved it. I just didn’t get it. Idk maybe im not “current” enough, or hipster enough, whatever. I just couldnt identify or fall in love with any if the characters…. The only character i liked was Adam?, tge douchey boyfriend, so idk. I used to see her in the show and see the credits of the show and think: hey, shes young and succesful and talented. Good. Then, she opened her mouth, a couple of times, and then i went: nope! Just another rich girl with a false sense of reality. Lets see… Now Shameless, for me its the best series on tv right now.

  38. littlemissnaughty says:

    I don’t know the show but my gawd, do I hate hipsters. Show me ONE of them who’s not annoying and pretentious as hell and I’ll say no more. But the thing is, hipster has kind of become an insult anyway, right? “Nooo I’m not a hipster. That is such a stupid thing to say.” Right. You’re just “artistic”. Good Lord. This child needs to live half a life before she shares her wisdom with the world.

    • KC says:

      I’m Lena Dunham’s age and I can tell you that being annoying and pretentious are the main features of being a hipster. About a year ago my mom and I were going into a hipster neighborhood and I knew the only time she was around people my age was when she saw me or my friends so I warned her about them so she could prepare herself. I apparently didn’t do a good enough job because we had this conversation within five minutes of starting to drive through the area:
      “What the h**l is wrong with them? Why are they like THAT?”
      “I don’t know. They say it’s just ‘a product of our generation,’ but that’s obviously not true because I know plenty of nice, thoughtful people my age.”
      “Being self absorbed is a personality trait, not a generational characteristic.”

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Mother of gawd. I wiki’d her because I really have no clue who she is and she’s TWO years younger than I am??? WHAT? I thought she was … 21 or something. Oh Lord. I was guessing based on the kids who run around my uni and annoy the sh*t out of me. Okay, I was very wrong.
        Anyway. If there really are whole neighborhoods of these people … yikes. I’m not American so maybe I don’t “get” the hipster thing. But if this one and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are any indication, I don’t want to get it.

        Your mom’s not wrong, it’s a character trait but I feel like the hipsters have turned it into an art form. It’s as if they’re trying to revive the spirit of hippie culture … only they don’t want to give up Starbucks and “style”, whatever that means. Which makes them less hippie and more hypocrite.

      • KC says:

        Oh there are at least four hipster neighborhoods in my metro area. (Although one of them is a university.) I don’t know exactly what percentage of each area is actually hipster though. For example, some of my friends live in those areas and they’re still normal people–I swear.

        Even before my mom said that, whenever I’d hear a hipster say/write: “It’s not our fault. The way we were raised just made us all used to having things handed to us/self absorbed/etc.” I would think “And yet I was raised in the same culture and I managed to turn out human.”

        I was surprised my mom was so shocked though because she’s a baby boomer so her generation had its share of people being self absorbed. She said hipsters “bring being self-absorbed to a new level.” Basically what you said about them making it an art form.

      • KC says:

        @littlemissnaughty: I told my friend about your comment that you didn’t know that hipsters populated whole neighborhoods and she responded: “Ugh no they’re everywhere and by everywhere I mean ALL of Oregon.” And then we listed a few cities from all around the country that seem to mostly be populated by hipsters.

        So feel privileged that you don’t have to live among them.

  39. Annelise says:

    That first photo put me off my breakfast 🙁 She does look good when wearing more glam, made-up looks– her makeup in that floor-length dress is quite good. First one though– pasty, bad dress, weird pose? Ick.

  40. Katie says:

    She is really putting out some holier than thou vibes. Barf. Hipsters. Ick.

  41. Yamayama says:

    Another irrelevant, racist piece of $hit hipster “feminist.” Next!

  42. A says:

    She is just stating that art made for the sole purpose of “getting somewhere” or “getting rich” is not art. And that’s true. It’s amazing to me how women are treating her- she is opening so many doors for women in Hollywood and beyond. Be happy for her!

    • Mely says:

      Hi A! Please dont get this the wrong way, but can u please explain how do u think shes opening doors for women? And i swear im not asking to create drama, i sincerely would like to hear ur opinion. Maybe im missunderstanding something here….

    • Garvels says:

      I think what people are reacting to is her arrogance. Who is she to judge whether someone is writing for money or for the sake of art?? If someone is a talented writer then why should they be at fault for wanting to earn a living…it is better than living off of food stamps.

    • Emily says:

      Jane Austen didn’t create art? Charles Dickens — just some hack? Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Michelangelo — pathetic doodlers?

      What a bunch of malarkey. When you’re just airily dancing along, doing what you want to do because you feel like it, you don’t have the pressure of doing the very best you possibly can, you don’t have to listen to criticism, and you don’t have to finish. So almost every time, you end up with junk.

      This idea that “art for art’s sake” is somehow “better” than art for getting paid has been around for centuries, and I doubt we’ll kill it. But it’s incredibly ignorant. And it’s not like wanting to get paid and wanting to produce good art are mutually exclusive. In fact, they are symbiotic.

    • Lindsey says:

      … I guess that’s why she’s writing a memoir (sort of) for $3.5 million?

    • KC says:

      I shouldn’t have to like someone just because we share the same gender. And to be accurate: she didn’t work hard to open doors for women, Judd Apatow liked her movie so he opened doors for her. Which I wouldn’t hold against her for a second if she were gracious about it and admitted how lucky she is, but it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen.

  43. ! says:

    As someone who writes for money, I find that for this (free) comment I can only muster a, “Gee, what a dumb bitch.”

  44. Lisa says:

    People who buy anything Lena Dunham writes are weird.

  45. seamonster says:

    I’m a writer who doesn’t make much money, and I just took it as people who write don’t write for money generally. They do it because they love writing. To write if you DON’T love writing for money is weird. People who become doctors or lawyers might do it for money, but 99.99% of writers don’t make money, so to become a writer in order to make money is weird…

  46. taxi says:

    After 2 or 3 episodes, I stopped watching the show. Seeing Lena act sex was gross. Maybe she should just write & let other people perform. I don’t think she’s as clever as she thinks she is.

  47. erika says:

    oh stop it lena…

    i’m sorry, but….did you not earn one penny for scripting the first season (and second i assume) for HBOs Girls?

    what a bitch! i thought she was smarter than that. She comes across as one (more…) of these exclusive, hipster, “i’m a starving artist I write (act, play music, paint) for the ‘art’ of it, not for the fame/money/etc)”

    it’s like saying actors who do commercials or TV are less ‘legitimate’.

    what a bitch! so… could i borrow a few thousand from you then? you know, the dirty money you’ve made so far in your career?

    are you interested in being set up w/ ANGUS T JONES?

  48. Christian says:

    Who exactly writes soley for money other than celebrities (i.e. celebrity cookbooks, Tyra’s awful YA series)? In my experience people who create art do it as a form of self expression and enjoyment, and an extremely small minority do get money or fame from it. Once some people get money they coast, but I would like to believe they continue to be inspired. *shrug* Maybe I’m just naive.

    • Emily says:

      You’re naive. Also kinda insulting, but I don’t think you mean to be. The vast majority of professional writers work their asses off just to keep their heads above water. It is not a career that pays well unless you get really lucky.

      People who think art should be for art’s sake and nothing more are one of my pet peeves. Here’s the deal: artists need to eat. We need to pay the rent. Would you ask a lawyer to take a case for free, a plumber to fix your pipes for free, a mechanic to fix your car for free, a teacher to teach kids for free, and etc.? Yeah, some people would, because some people are entitled douches. But writing (and acting, drawing, singing, etc.) professionally is work. There are people who do it just because they find it fun, but when you’re looking at doing it professionally, it’s completely different.

      These wealthy entitled clueless hipster dilettante douchebags like Franco and Dunham have always existed, under other names. They’re to true writers and artists like the guy who’s flown first class a couple times and therefore thinks he knows all about airplanes is to true pilots. They’re an insulting joke in the short-term; in the long-term, they’re vapor. Meaningless.

  49. Anna says:

    She must be a narcissist. I watched Tiny Furniture, her self-made movie she stars in. Her mother is a well known excellent visual artist. Lena comes home from college all mopey and feeling sorry for herself. She tries to make her mom and sister, and everyone else, the meanies but eventually the self-absorbed boring girl just annoyed me and I never finished watching.

  50. LeslieM says:

    Someone help her find the right shoes for the outfits.

  51. MM says:

    She always look super awkward to me. Sorrryyyy.

  52. TG says:

    So is this chick going to donate her earnings from this book to charity? What a pretentious hag. I have no clue who she is other than she is not very attractive and that Twiggy pic does her a disservice. She looks ugly. Why is it okay for actors to act for money but writers can’t do the same? I prefer reading a book to watching the TV/movie any day of the week. I agree with others who posted above some people who come from money, including the upper middle class have no clue about how people on the lower socioeconomic chain survive. I am from a dirt poor family and some of my friends are from the upper-middle class and they used to tell me that I shouldn’t put up with this or that at work and go in and demand this, etc. And I realized they have a nice large home to fall back on. I have nothing so sometimes you have to put up with a lot more when you are the only one who will be providing a roof over your head and you have no one to fall back on.

  53. Ricochet says:

    Watched 1.5 episodes of girls. People like that must live in some other universe of fail-dom I don’t visit. It’s where individuals who fail as people belong.

    Ms. Olin’s representation of said universe is so spot on because it’s her world. (And yes, qualifying for membership in fail-dom has nothing to do with money. Which is as it should be.)

  54. irishserra says:

    I’ve never seen her show and I’d never heard of her until about two weeks ago when I came down with the flu and I was searching Hulu for something to watch. Came up with “Tiny Furniture.” I thought it was such a bizarre and mediocre movie. I’m seeing her name crop up here and there since (I’m sure I’m just “aware” now that I’ve seen a film of hers). I find her unremarkable.

    And I don’t think collecting cash for writing is any worse than collecting cash for acting. If it is indeed something you’re good at… Wait, no… Rather, if it’s something somebody wants to pay money to see then what business is it of hers whether or not the author collects money? Maybe I’m just getting old, but this whole new crop of “artists” seems talentless and full of hot air to me.

  55. J. says:

    I don’t get it. She probably just meant that people shouldn’t write primarily for money. Meaning they shouldn’t write because they think they’ll get rich doing it, they should write because they like to write.

    People are so quick to jump on this girl just because she’s successful.

    • Kate says:

      The quotes are so broken up it’s impossible to tell what she meant, so assuming what she meant either way is very presumptuous.

      Although I’m sure *some* people manage to write who don’t love it manage to make money from it just because they’re naturally talented at it, just like in sports or acting. It’s almost impossible to make a living at any of them and love for any of them helps drive people to success, but it isn’t necessarily required.

      • J. says:

        The quotes were taken out of context, as I suspected.


        She did, in fact, mean it was weird to get into writing at the outset with the intention to make money “even when it works” just because it’s so unlikely and competitive. She didn’t mean people shouldn’t get paid for their writing or that they shouldn’t expect fair compensation.

        It’s no different than if I said “You know, it’s weird to get into swimming to make money”, even though it sometimes works.

      • Kate says:

        Depending on how talented the person is it isn’t weird at all if they try to make money writing, especially if they realize that it might not work–just like any other career.

  56. Juniper says:

    Maybe I missed something in all that but where are the actual comments! If its an essay it isn’t necessarily even her own views.

    Girls is her show, despite what anyone says about her being Apatow’s prize pupil. I can’t stand Apatow’s, but I loved Girls. Lena needs to make sure all annoying Apatow crap stays out of it as much as possible.

  57. Sophia says:

    Being surrounded by hipsters nearly all day I have a silent hatred for them.. Many don’t seem to realise how well of they are – it takes a lot of money to look like a homeless person.

    I think she is insecure and vapid.. She probably realises how unattractive she is and wants to make up for it with amazing wit and fails. completely fails.

    Also she too doesn’t seem to realise how lucky she is and can’t see out her own smelly bubble.

    If that is the voice of the generation, please, just shoot them all..
    Luckily for me if I start Generation Z into the latest it can be.. I make it into Gen Z and away from Lena’s “voice”

  58. lis says:

    isn’t she saying it’s a ‘weird plan’ because, exactly as you describe, it is extremely difficult to make money from it?
    and as someone who is not hipster, young or from privilege Girls is absolute genius.

  59. Jo says:

    Dunham comes of like the deeper version of Kristin Stewart… imagine if Stewart said that… or imagine Stewart writing an autobiography… and the following swift lambasting. Dunham makes Stewart look sympathetic by comparison, lol.

    Geezzz… excuse me if I don’t buy the pseudo-grunge, hipster problems of rich kids… Yes, they have it so bad… all those millions, must be so tough for them… And no one can understand them… gosh matey, all these commoners can’t begin to comprehend their profound life philosophies.

  60. Jay Elle says:

    I love Girls but this woman IRKS THE HELL OUT OF ME. Her character on the show bothers me as well. I just can’t stand hipsters. They’re so annoying with their holier-than-thou attitudes and entitlement problems. This girl just needs to STFU and write the damn show.

  61. decemberist15 says:

    A lot of you seem to be really down with this hipster hate! I need to say this (as a hipster who took awhile to accept that she was a hipster)

    NOT ALL HIPSTERS FIT THAT MOLD!!! Yes, a lot of them are pretentious poseurs who will respond to anything you say with something along the lines of ‘I was doing/listening to/ whatever that way before it became popular’.

    BUT, there are also a lot of hipsters that just march to the beat of their own drum and are actually really warm and welcoming, no matter what you classify yourself as. Personally, I don’t feel I fit into conventional molds. I wear what I feel confident in. I listen to a variety of music. I have friends from all walks of life, and really, as long as what you are doing is making you happy and not hurting anyone, so what?

    Not to get all cliche here, but I couldn’t care less what you wear or look like. Hipster, yuppie, punk rocker, whatever; if you are a good person and we get along, that’s really all that matters.

  62. busy ramone says:

    I can’t wait until her book bombs.