Lena Dunham Is Troubled by the 'Girls' Porn Parody

The Atlantic Wire
Lena Dunham Is Troubled by the 'Girls' Porn Parody
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Lena Dunham Is Troubled by the 'Girls' Porn Parody

Details surfaced this week of Hustler's upcoming porn parody of HBO's Girls—titled This Ain't Girls XXX and open to the immediate response of "well, is that really necessary?"—but now Lena Dunham has decided to weigh in and, well, surprisingly enough to her, she's not really ecstatic. 

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The story from XBiz.com (coming to us via Vulture and the New York Observer) explains how the plot of the film, due out in the next few months, revolves around porn-Hannah (played by one Alex Chance) experimenting with lesbianism and then going back to have sex with porn-Adam. The two of them then engage in some "mild" BDSM. Of course, the obvious reaction is that Girls has so much sex that it doesn't really need a porn parody. And that comes up in XBiz's article, with the porn actor who plays Adam (one Richie Calhoun) saying "they didn't have to do much" to expand on their source material given its already sexual themes. Calhoun continued: "It will be interesting to see what people will say about it because with something like that people would expect a really bold or nuanced statement. Maybe it will be like that or maybe people will say, 'This is an outrage. This is terrible!' I'm not really sure." As Drew Grant of the Observer wrote: there's "strange reversal of the norm going on here, with the pornography trying to market itself as less transgressive than the original series." 

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Dunham's tweet about the parody doesn't make her emotions obvious, exactly, but she's evidently not 100 percent okay with the XXX version's existence. She wrote late this morning: 

I wish I had a better attitude about the Girls porn parody. I really can never predict what will trouble me and it's simply exhausting.

— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) May 23, 2013

It's a different reaction than, say, the cast of 30 Rock had on Jimmy Fallon's show when Alec Baldwin detailed the experience of meeting the woman who said she played Tina Fey in that show's porn parody. They all thought it was hilarious. But then again that's a very different thing. When a 30 Rock porn parody takes a show that has very little sex and make it salacious, that's amusing. In Girls, the sex on display is supposed to be nuanced, confusing, and complicated. Not what you necessarily associate with porn. Dunham has also spoken in interviews about her thoughts on porn and how it has influenced her generation (and by association the sex on display on Girls). "When I first started kissing boys," she told Frank Bruni, "I remember noticing things, certain behaviors, where I thought, 'There's no way you learned that anywhere but on YouPorn.com. There's no way any teenage girl taught you and reinforced that behavior.'" 

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In response to Dunham's tweet, comedian Rob Delaney wrote: "Feel what you feel. You pour arterial blood into your show & they're doing something lazy & by the numbers." 

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