Catherine Called Birdy UK film premiere

Donald Glover Admits He Was Joking About Lena Dunham Using A Racial Slur

Home / Entertainment / Donald Glover Admits He Was Joking About Lena Dunham Using A Racial Slur

By Taylor Hodgkins on March 10, 2023 at 7:00 PM EST

Reps for actor and musician Donald Glover are walking back claims he made about former "Girls" co-star, Lena Dunham, over the weekend.

Article continues below advertisement
Donald Glover and Maya Erskine are seen filming Mr amp Mrs Smith in NYC
Article continues below advertisement

Dunham, 36, has a history of making controversial decisions during her time in the public eye. Glover, 39, made a joke about the writer and actress using a racial slur while the duo was shooting Dunham's hit HBO series, during March 5th's Writers Guild of America Awards.

The "Not That Kind Of Girl" author and the "Atlanta" actor briefly played a couple on "Girls," which originally aired from 2012 until 2017. Glover, who is also known by his musical moniker Childish Gambino, referenced a conversation the duo reportedly had while shooting the series.

Article continues below advertisement

Lena Dunham Has A History Of Making Public Apologies And Explaining Herself

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood Film Premiere London

Dunham has been in the spotlight numerous times over the years for the actress' oft-controversial actions.

Five years ago, Dunham made headlines for defending one of her "Girls" co-workers who had been facing sexual assault allegations at the time.

According to The Blast's report, Dunham issued a public apology via her Twitter.

Article continues below advertisement

"I never thought I would issue a statement publicly supporting someone publicly accused of sexual assault but I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend's situation as it has transpired behind the scenes over the past few months," Dunham began her statement, "I know understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry... Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard fully, and completely, and our relationship to the accused should not be part of the circulation anyone makes when examining her case. Every person and every feminist should be required to hear her. Under patriarchy, 'I believe you' is essential. Until we are all believed, none of us will be believed. We apologize to every woman who have been disappointed," Dunham's statement continued.

Article continues below advertisement

Two years later, she came under fire for awkwardly trying to kiss her "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" co-star during the film's premiere. After the photo of Dunham and Brad Pitt began virally circulating on the internet, she gave more details to Andy Cohen during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live!"

Dunham explained to Cohen, "Well, the way the internet read it was I had somehow accosted him causing him a great deal of stress. I would never force a kiss on Brad Pitt. I respect him far too much as an artist and a friend."

She would go on to explain, "I think what happened was the best thing that's maybe ever happened to me. He was doing a scene where he was parking a car and he's supposed to get out and look around, and he looked around and saw me on the edge of frame and came over and picked me up and spun me around. And it was like- it was like in one of those movies where the nerd shows up at prom and the hottest guy in school is like, 'Would you care to dance?'"

Article continues below advertisement

Dunham's Representative Came To Her Defense Following Glover's Claims

Glover's mention of Dunham during Sunday's Writers Guild of America Awards involved an exaggerated anecdote.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Glover told a story about a conversation he had allegedly had with Dunham about the duo's mutual friend, Paul Simms. Simms had worked with the actors on "Girls," and later on Glover's hit series, "Atlanta."

In the anecdote that had been intended to be a joke, Glover describes Dunham had once used the n-word to refer to Simms.

Representatives for both actors later defended Glover's actions.

Dunham's representative denied Glover's allegation she had used the word. "Donald Glover told a joke referencing Lena Dunham for last night's WGA Awards," Dunham's representative clarified to the outlet via a statement, "It included, for effect, language Lena never used, nor would use."

Glover's representative did the same, reiterating their client had been making a joke during his nearly ten-minute monologue at the ceremony.

Neither Glover nor Dunham has publicly spoken out on the story as of this writing.

The duo had previously partaken in serious conversations about Glover's experience on "Girls." Glover appeared for only two episodes.

Article continues below advertisement

According to W Magazine, Glover had completely ad-libbed his character's breakup monologue, which summarizes his character's experience with interracial dating. Dunham would later catch up with him and touch base.

Dunham told the outlet, "I e-mailed him later to say, 'I hope you feel the part on 'Girls' didn't tokenize you,' Glover responded, "Let's not think back on mistakes we made in the past, let's just focus on what lies in front of us."

Article continues below advertisement