The cast of HBO's 'Girls'

From Clutch MagazineWe’ve talked a lot about the HBO series Girls around these parts, so much so that many of you are tired of discussing it. But rock with me for a spell.

After its debut, the web lit up with talk about the lack of diversity on the show, which follows four twenty-something friends as they try to figure out their lives. While many have hailed the show as the best of the year, others have bemoaned the fact that none of the girls are black, brown, or anything other than white.

The show’s creator and star Lena Dunham mentioned that she wrote the series from her experience, which explained the lack of diversity, but Dunham promised to add to the cast during its second season.

As the season progressed, all the “Girls” talk seemed to fade, but a new post by one of my favorite blogs Very Smart Brothas explains why there could never be a black version of the show — and it’s not why you think.

Aside from the fact that black and white women often times have different cultural experiences, Damon Young says there’s one glaring reason why a black “Girls” would not fly: Folks are uncomfortable with black sex.

He explains:

These are just three of the dozens of times sex is shown, discussed, alluded to, made light of, seen, and overheard on “Girls.” Don’t get me wrong. The show isn’t just about sex, but it would be near impossible to have a (somewhat) realistic depiction of contemporary young people — even the ones not having sex — without sex just, well, being there.

None of this could happen with a black show. Sure, young black people find themselves in the same type of situations, but if black people were shown having the same type of sex (and having the same type of sex-related discussions) the characters on “Girls” regularly do, it goes from being thought of as “real” and “gritty” and “truly naked” to “nasty” and “pornographic.” 

We — and “we” in this case is “Americans” — have a strange relationship with black sex and sexuality, too strange for me to even begin to expound on today. Interestingly enough, this is true for both white and black America. As much as we complain about the lack of real black shows on TV, we’d be just as weirded out by real black sex. Can you imagine how many petitions would be made if a popular black show had a black female character asking to put her finger in a black male character’s butt during sex?

Young goes onto to explain that the show’s main character (played by Dunham) could never have a black equivalent because of her unremarkably average looks.

He surmises:

Well, if this black “Girls” is a mirror of the white “Girls,” the main character would be an average looking woman. Not “Hollywood average,” but average average. Aggressively average. “Looks exactly like the woman handing out chicken sausage at Trader Joe’s” average.

Read the rest of this story on Clutch Magazine