Girls Series Finale Lena Dunham Hannah Baby Grover

Girls EP Dismisses 'Ridiculous' Baby Backlash: 'I Won't Even Dignify It'

Even in its final episode, Girls still managed to stir up controversy. But executive producer Jenni Konner is done defending it.

The HBO comedy’s series finale saw Lena Dunham’s Hannah welcome her baby boy Grover into the world, but some viewers — including us — questioned how Hannah and her baby daddy Paul-Louis (played by guest star Riz Ahmed) could have had such a dark-skinned baby. Konner refuses to address the backlash, though.

“I’m going to gracefully bow out of the last controversy hopefully we will ever have about Girls,” Konner told the Associated Press at a Lenny Letter event on Monday. “I won’t even dignify it. Ridiculous.”

The baby’s real-life mother took to Twitter (in a since-deleted tweet) to say that the baby is Puerto Rican and Haitian. But Dunham hasn’t commented on the controversy, and Konner prefers to bask in the afterglow of a otherwise well-received final season.

“It’s really nice after all these years of, you know, being pretty divisive, that the general consensus has been pretty positive,” Konner says, “and that’s made us feel really good.”

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32 Comments
  1. Sam says:

    Hashtag whocares. A lot of peoples’ skin lightens as it gets older. It’s sad that the Outrage Council had to take one last swipe at Dunham. Get a life, internet.

    • E. D. Boddy says:

      Who’s outraged? Curious is more like it.

      • A fan of TV says:

        If you’re legit curious, there’s enough literature on genetics out there that you could very easily settle this controversy for yourself…

        • E. D. Boddy says:

          Or she could save everyone a lot of time and just answer the damn question, instead of being snooty and pretentious about it.

          • taelor says:

            She doesn’t owe you an education in genetics. You’re not paying her for that knowledge. Hire somebody to teach you, or do it for yourself. Google is free and easy to use.

  2. Zoe says:

    There are plenty of legitimate things to be upset or offended about when it comes to Lena Dunham and/or Girls. This is not one of those things.

  3. Ryan says:

    Yeah, you’re all right. As long as the baby is some shade of brown, who cares?

    Really, people?

  4. Kira says:

    “As long the as the baby is a shade of brown, who cares?!” Spoken like someone who doesn’t know how melanin works. A white woman and a British-Pakistani man wouldn’t have a child that light. TWO black people probably wouldn’t have a child that light at that age. Babies of color are generally born incredibly light, regardless of how dark their parents are, and their color develops over time.

    It may seem petty to be angry about something so small, but Lena Dunham and Girls has always been problematic about race, and this just another example of how clueless and careless the production is. They couldn’t be bothered to take 10 minutes to research this or consult or even try to find a Pakistani child in the most diverse city in America?! They just grabbed the first brown baby they saw and thought it was good enough. And it’s NOT.

    Good riddance, Girls.

    • Ryan says:

      Amen! I’d even probably be okay with it if they weren’t so dismissive.

    • MrMank says:

      Exactly. I don’t watch the show, but that hardly applies here. People will make absolutely everything about racism, and I honestly think the majority of them do it just so they can have their voices heard. Ah, the insanity of hashtag activism. So, essentially Konner is taking what is clearly a matter of production carelessness, and saying she’s not going to “dignify” it? There are people out there sitting on their couches, stuffing their faces with Cheetos, who are doing a better job than what you pay your production staff for. But no, clearly it’s a race issue. Idiots.

    • Sara says:

      “A white woman and a British-Pakistani man wouldn’t have a child that light. TWO black people probably wouldn’t have a child that light at that age.”
      .
      Do you mean dark instead of light? No one’s saying he’s too light, they’re saying he’s too dark. Otherwise I’m not sure what you mean.

    • Adam says:

      What? The “controversy” was that the baby is too dark-skinned for the two light-skinned parents. You’re upset that they couldn’t take 10 minutes to research but it seems like you didn’t even take the 1 minute to read the article.

    • Kim says:

      “A white woman and a British-Pakistani man wouldn’t have a child that light. TWO black people probably wouldn’t have a child that light at that age.” I think that you meant dark? Otherwise I am just genuinely confused because from this article I’m getting that the issue was with how dark the child was. I freely admit that I don’t really know how melatonin works but am just curious because this statement seems contradictory. Everything else I completely agree with. I lost interest in Girls a long time ago, but I think that it is so important to be culturally sensitive and at least accurate in our society and the fact that the EP won’t even respond….I find that dismissing and insulting. At least respond to peoples concerns instead of saying “I won’t even dignify a response” and that in my opinion shows us no dignity.

  5. Lauren says:

    It’s not a controversy. It’s just a question/comment that fans had. Hannah is super white and Paul-Louis was light brown – so it legit makes no sense that their baby would be that dark. Just poor casting.

  6. A fan of TV says:

    Genetics are funny things, sometimes. The controversy over a one-episode character’s skin color presumes that all generic combinations are both predetermined and obvious. And yet mixed-race parents can have children who all have different skin tones. It is always random, even when it physically appears to ‘make sense.’ Previously on this site, a woman of Pakistani origin said her son’s looked like that baby, and you can’t tell her that she’s wrong. It’s not so simple, these genetics, and just let the show go. It’s over.

  7. pickles says:

    Sounds like he is thin skinned.

  8. Ray says:

    That ain’t Paul Louis’ baby. That’s all I’m sayin.

  9. Christine says:

    The fact that the color of the baby’s skin is even an issue is so disturbing. Who is to say whether the kid is too dark? People of mixed parentage come out in all shades. The fact that TVLine and anyone else thinks this is worth discussing is ridiculous.

    • Kim says:

      I completely agree. One of my best friends sisters is married to a black man (she’s a white woman) and their first child was moderately dark skinned and they just had a second child (same parents) who was significantly more light skinned. Genetics are not “black and white” (pun intended) it’s so much more complicated than that.

  10. leo21 says:

    If Girls hadn’t had issues with diversity leading up to this, the poor casting of the baby would have probably gone unnoticed. It is possible for ta darker skinned child to be born but it’s not that common. And It’s hard to believe they couldn’t find a child with the same racial makeup or at least a Pakistani child for the part.

  11. Pedro says:

    Well, she never dignified people of colour, anyway. Her show was about White Privileged, in New York, of all places. Of course she thinks it’s OK to cast a Pakistani to play Hispanic and then cast a Black baby to be their offspring. To her, if you are not White, you are all the same.

  12. ejdax37 says:

    The only solution is for Lena Dunham and the dude who played the father to have a baby in real life then compare that baby to the actor baby. But that is to small a sample size so they will need to keep pumping out babies for the next 20 years so that we can determine if the ACTOR baby was really to dark to play a fictional character’s baby on a tv show! Guess what that child wasn’t actually Dunham’s so that is why they don’t look anything like each other. The casting director choice the best brown baby that was the right age and temperament and didn’t administer a genetic test to make sure the racial mix was perfect.

  13. Jennifer Mohammad says:

    Funny that y was the first thing I thought. Glad to see someone else noticed

  14. liame says:

    LOL! I can’t. Maybe mom or dad has a dormant gene? People really need to calm down and start educating themselves.

  15. Pedro says:

    Well, she never dignified people of colour, anyway. Her show was about White Privileged, in New York, of all places. Of course she thinks it’s OK to cast a Pakistani to play Hispanic and then cast a Black baby to be their offspring. To her, if you are not White, you are all the same.

  16. OhioGuy TB says:

    Haha… unless that image above is touched-up, that does look kinda incongruous. Forget colorblind casting… Dunham is leading the way in colorblind genetics!