Hollywood is too slowly coming round to the idea that it should employ people with experience of the stories they are telling
File this under unintended consequences: thanks to Lena Dunham, Syrian refugees, and their representation in Hollywood are all trending. When news broke that Lena Dunham would be writing a film adaptation of a Syrian refugee’s story, reaction was swift. People expressed anger, annoyance, deep disappointment and even resignation.
Part of the ire stemmed from Dunham’s previous inability to represent complex characters of colour. But the focus on her is also sexist – young women get criticised more easily than men – and I’m not here for that. The real offender is her industry, one that has proved itself repeatedly to be remarkably tone deaf, self-congratulatory and lacking in self-awareness. After all, powerful Hollywood gatekeepers Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams (and their teams) were the ones that looked around and decided she was the best person for this job.