When everyone started going crazy about Lena Dunham‘s interview with Amy Schumer, I didn’t get it at first. Only a piece of the interview was going around; the “key” piece, I guess, being Dunham discussing the Met Ball where she was bored and dressed like Eddie Munster. She mentioned attempting to “grind her ass on Michael B. Jordan” (whatever that means) which I assume is how she soothes her asshole after accidentally eating some string. Then she went into a weird story about how she was ignored by Odell Beckham Jr. and how she felt like he was sitting in silent judgement of her every personal insecurity.
It got weird.
“I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, “That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.” It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused.
The vibe was very much like, “Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.” It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, “This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.”
The bold text is my own doing, highlighting the key phrases where Dunham appears to speed past self-deprecating humor and whiz kicking and screaming into the land of pure psychopathic self-loathing, putting wholly unfair and unjustified words in the mouth of Odell Beckham and saying some pretty awful shit about her own self-esteem.
I hoped the entire interview would be this manic, depressing and cringe. And to my extreme joy, I remembered that I AM SUBSCRIBED TO THE LENNY NEWSLETTER for occasions just like this (do yourself a favor and SUBSCRIBE, it’s mostly junk, but sometimes, it’s fucking worth it)! So I opened my TRASH folder in Gmail and got to read the whole terrifying ordeal. And boy oh boy was I fucking right! Dunham writes with the prose of a crazed autistic fan-girl, constantly needing to reassure herself that she has, in fact, dressed herself properly.
“As we chatted, I was so happy to be on Skype with Amy that at times this ceased to be an interview. I just gazed happily at her as she enjoyed several varieties of soup in a raccoon printed sweatshirt. Good thing she doesn’t need a journalist in order to drop the knowledge.”
Lena Dunham is a month younger than me (almost exactly) and shouldn’t be using phrases like “drop the knowledge.” And she shouldn’t be “gazing happily” during an interview unless she’s Larry King having a stroke.
Lena Dunham: Wait, I’m trying to video you, but I can’t.
Amy Schumer: Oh, I can see you.
I admire the fortitude in including the part of the interview (in text) where she and Schumer are trying to figure out Skype. It gives the interview that raw and unedited feel…until you literally state at the end of the piece that:
“This interview has been condensed and edited. Lena Dunham sometimes starts to use a weird “cool dude” voice around Amy Schumer in an attempt to impress her.”
If she left in the part where Skype wasn’t working properly, what the actual fuck did she cut out?! Then we get this gem:
“When I first got my tramp stamp, which my dad came with me to get, like two months later, he said, very innocently, “Did you know that one of my students says it’s called a tramp stamp because it’s the place where after you have sex from behind, men ejaculate on it?” He seemed upset and perplexed. I was like, “I so appreciate your loving, caring, consistent presence in my life. Please never talk to me again.”
The pieces to the “what the fuck is wrong with this woman” puzzle really fall into place whenever she talks about her family. There are points in the interview when Schumer, who I imagine is a dear friend of Dunham’s, seems genuinely concerned and perhaps even frightened for her own safety, despite the interview being conducted via Skype. For all Amy Schumer knows, Lena Dunham could be some kind of low-key book ghost Babadook…and the next time she opens her copy of Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned…BOOM! DUNHAM’D!
After Amy Schumer tries to explain away why she felt that being praised for being “plus-sized” was bothersome in a very Seinfeldesque “not that there’s anything wrong with that” kinda way, Dunham immediately changes the subject back to herself.
“People always ask, “How do you feel about the fact that everything you say gets taken out of context? How do you feel about the fact that you can’t speak without outcry …” I’ve retreated, in some ways, on Twitter. There’s certain things I’ve had to do for self-preservation. The past few weeks … I don’t even want to make you talk about it, because it’s the fucking worst.”
Chilling. An adult shouldn’t be shutting down like this. Especially a highly successful one. It’s no surprise that she’s so talented at writing female characters who are so irreparably depressed.
Schumer begins talking about her recent ordeal with her buddy Kurt Metzger who, if you hadn’t heard, landed himself in some 48-hour Internet Soup. Schumer said, JOKINGLY, “I was like, if there’s scandals, can’t they be about me?” To which Lena “PAUSE FOR DRAMATIC EFFECT” Dunham responded:
“I know, you’re like, why aren’t you focusing on my rape and my broken relationship with my mother?”
WHOA. Pump those breaks, sister, you’re cruisin’ on BALD tires. Then there’s this entirely disingenuous exchange where Dunham confusingly behaves as if she hasn’t been the one funneling the coal into the Media Outrage Machine.
LD: The other thing that I get really crazy about is this new world in which women aren’t just supposed to be protected from actions, they’re supposed to be protected from language. Women are so strong. My ovary has basically exploded in my stomach twice, and I was pretty chill about it. You think I can’t listen to some short comedy loser say something dumb about rape?
LD: I’m not going to cry, I’m a fucking queen.
LD: I don’t think anyone should be a troll on the Internet, but I also get crazy about the idea of trigger warnings because a book isn’t what I have a problem with. What I have a problem with is actions in the world. I understand that art and public figures teach people how to behave, but I want to be outraged about what’s truly happening, because it’s always happening.
It is becoming glaringly clear that Schumer is prepared to just sit back and give one-word responses since this sham “interview” has just become about letting Lena Dunham talk some shit out. It’s also clear that she’s a liar, as she’s frequently been on the delivering end of vitriol about art and words. For some reason, Dunham decides–for no discernible reason at all–to bring up how people were murdered during a showing of Schumer’s movie, Trainwreck. Amy responds genuinely:
AS: It still fucking kills me. I might cry a little bit talking about it, but it is fine.
LENA DUNHAM responds with this:
LD: I love you, you can cry near me.
This is not something a mentally stable human says. “I love you, you can cry near me”? This should’ve been the part she “edited” from the “interview.” Not only does it make her sound psycho-obsessive and shockingly motherly towards someone 5 years her senior, but it also sounds less like adult woman language and more like a bad Japanese translation, or something Koko the Gorilla would sign to her trainer after a long bad day.
Although, this exchange did provoke the best part of the interview when Amy Schumer told this story about the theater shooting:
“[When the theater shooting happened,] it was such a shock, and it shouldn’t have been because it happens, but … You know, that is actually when I felt the closest to Jennifer Lawrence, because that day she texted me, “It’s your fault.” And in times like that only jokes make you feel a little better.”
Clearly J-Law gets it, Amy Schumer gets it, and Lena Dunham–like Barb from Stranger Things–just trying to fit in, says:
“Jennifer Lawrence texting “It’s your fault” is like the greatest worst thing I ever heard.”
She might as well have said “Like OMG you’re kidding, right?!” and then made the conscious decision to keep that IN the interview. Then there’s this weirdly placed link to an article from People Magazine in January about Obama’s future plans for gun control, which seems unhinged even for Dunham.
Amy Schumer mentions her political leanings and how her new tour is going to be a little divisive for her audience, which I severely doubt, since everyone who hates Schumer for her politics probably wouldn’t spend $100 to see her perform. But I’m not bothered in the slightest with any of this. What does bother me, is how Lena Dunham fucking responds and closes this interview out:
LD: I just want to say one more thing, which is that the book is really beautiful and really funny, and it’s very exciting that you can buy it in the airport!!!
AS: I haven’t seen it in an airport yet. Maybe I will see it in the airport tomorrow.
LD: You are going to die when you see it in the airport. That’s like a real I’ve made it moment.
Anyone who refers to a paper bound, normal-looking book as “beautiful” needs to be surrounded by a TEAM of psychoanalysts. Then she goes on this kick about how amazing it is to see a book at the airport, as if that’s either funny or interesting, or a decent point, or a coherent observation. Amy Schumer makes a joke about how she bought her book on discount, and the interview just ends.
Run, Amy. Save yourself.
(UPDATE 9/3/16: Lena Dunham has officially posted an apology to Odell Beckham Jr. via her Twitter/Instagram. It’s a fine tangled mess of language-spaghetti. But it’s wholly unnecessary. Beckham is an adult, and presumably, so is Lena.
It was never ABOUT Odell Beckham Jr. being a big black man who didn’t want to fuck Lena Dunham, it was about her own neurosis in thinking of herself as a disgusting inhuman marshmallow-person. That’s the chilling part. And let’s be honest here, if weird chubby broads were such anathema to Odell Beckham Jr., he probably wouldn’t be fucking Demi Lovato.
Lena, I’m talking to you personally now. Because this is especially detrimental when you make a career spouting body positivity and self-esteem for girls. This is how you talk about yourself. This is how you see yourself in any given moment, even at a fancy dress event. Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t look at you like anything. He didn’t give a shit about you at all. And that’s not his job to do. His job is to play romp-around with an egg-shaped ball. Your job is to have self respect.
You hypocritically hopscotch back and forth, retreading the same social justice warrior bullshit of cultural appropriation and Proud Girl feminism and then retreat to the fainting couch whenever you’re caught doing questionable to atrocious things like diddling your little sister, or belittling TWO successful black men in just one Summer.
I assume that there must be some young girls out there somewhere in the ether who look up to you for some reason; either as a writer, or a feminist, or just as a person–though I can’t for the life of me imagine why.
You let them down. You’re not a racist, Lena. You’re a disappointment.)