The Naked Truth About Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow and TheWrap's Tim Molloy

The Naked Truth About Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow and TheWrap's Tim Molloy

Why does a question about female nudity from a male reporter spark charges of misogyny?

People, I'm confused. Why is Tim Molloy, our TV editor, considered a misogynist for asking Lena Dunham about why she's naked so often on “Girls”?

That's what a Salon writer said, and some other more obnoxious writers elsewhere. “What is the point of a naked woman if not to give heterosexual male journalists erections? “ writes Katie McDonough, as if even curiosity about the issue is transgressive.

In a journalist scrum after the news conference, Judd called Tim sexist and misogynistic.  I think that's really unfair.

Before we proceed, here's a bunch of disclaimers:

* Tim Molloy is TheWrap's tv editor, so I'm biased.
* I adore “Girls,” so I'm biased.
* Judd Apatow is a friend, so I'm biased.
* TheWrap named Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner to our list of Innovators Who Are Changing Hollywood last year, so we're biased.
* I'm female, so I'm biased.

Also read: Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham Get Mad at Me For Asking Why She's Naked So Much on ‘Girls’

What I don't get is why folks are getting so mad that a journalist asked a question at a press conference about Dunham's pushing the nudity envelope, when the purpose of her show is to artistically push the envelope?  (See the Emmy promo photo  of Dunham, poking fun at herself, naked on the toilet.)Lena-Dunham-Naked-at-Emmys1

I don't buy the argument that Tim is off-base for asking the question because… it's Season 3. There isn't a statute of limitations on questions about the substance of a show. Maybe it was the topless ping-pong scene last year that provoked the thought. Maybe the nudity is feeling tired by Season 3. Or maybe no one called on Tim the last time Dunham, Apatow and Konner faced the TV press.

Who knows why? It's a question, and reporters ask questions. The brave ones ask uncomfortable ones which are even more uncomfortable at clubby TCA (Cue earlier version of myself asking NBC why they aired the Golden Globes, voted upon by a few dozen freelancers, circa 1997. I got hissed in the room and one glorious pat on the back.)

Tim asked:

“I don't get the purpose of all of the nudity on the show, by you particularly, and I feel like I'm walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about the nudity on ‘Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they are doing it… They are doing it to be salacious and, you know, titillate people. And your character is often naked just at random times for no reason.”

Also read: The Case of Justine Sacco and the Twitter Lynch Mob

Maybe the “Game of Thrones” reference was unneeded – and good luck to anyone asking questions in public – but it's inaccurate to say that Tim told Dunham her nudity did not titillate him, which is what Dunham presumed in her response. He said that the purpose of nudity in “Game of Thrones” is titillation. Which means he believes that the nudity on “Girls” serves a different purpose.

He asked what that purpose was.

This commenter on our site has it just wrong: “Here is the offending sentence – ‘By you particularly.’ As if she isn't good enough or thin enough to be naked. That the writer's girlfriend doesn't get this just shows she's never been under the Hollywood/media scrutiny where only thin is beautiful.”

Dunham's response – that the nudity was “a realistic expression of being alive” – was in bounds. Not sure why she made it personal by saying, “If you are not into me, that's your problem.”

As intelligent viewers, let's own what Dunham – who is quite beautiful when she wants to be – is deliberately doing: creating her character to break the conventions of beauty and weight, privilege and self-obsession. (I love that about her.)

Also read: ‘Girls’ Review: Lena Dunham Plumbs Awkward Depths in Funny, Messy New Season

As a viewer with a different perspective, it's possible that Tim doesn't connect with Dunham's method of artistic expression, or he may feel – as so many commenters have noted — that the nudity had started to feel gratuitous.

Either way it's a fair point for debate: When is nudity an honest expression, and when does it start to feel like a stunt? I'm thinking that hundreds of people are arguing the point on our site and thousands sharing the article because the question resonated.

As a writer and a journalist, I have to come down on the side of defending provocative questions. Just like I come down on the side of defending Dunham's right to her own artistic choices.

Let's keep the insults out of it.

  • David Perkins

    As a former journalist, I found nothing whatsoever inappropriate about Tim's question. But, I'm biased. I think a reporter/editor covering the biz should be able to ask whatever-the-hell question he or she wants. That's how journalism in a free society is supposed to work. Honestly, I think the flap over this isn't really about the question. It's about the answer. Or lack thereof.

  • Pathbroeske

    Tim was doing his job. As for your pal, Judd Apatow, he should stick to his.

  • Robin

    Please stop this feigned innocence and realize the impact of the question. This “who, me?” shrugging to garner sympathy is ignorant and old. This Tim guy may have meant well, but understand the impact of the question.

    • SecludedCompound

      It's part of her artistic choice and he asked what the reason was. What did he say that was offensive or made any impact that was not apparent in the intent of the question?

    • ked

      I think you are reading into the question. To me that shows you are a closet sexist and overly obsessed with how women look. Its kind of weird of a man or women is constantly naked regardless or whether or not they fit YOUR definition of beauty.

      • NDForever

        ^ Huh?

    • josh

      you may have a point here. thinking that people will approach your questions with open minds and a little bit of civility is becoming too much to ask.

  • Judd Appetite

    Dunham and Apatow are arrogant obnoxious egomaniacs. Tim was smart to ask that question and the proof is the fact they had no answer for it. The nudity is just to make HBO happy and to get subscribers. It adds nothing to the show which is awful it's a terrible horrible stupid shallow empty show and 20-something women should be ashamed and embarrassed that Lena boasts she is “the voice of her generation.”

    • Pocahantos Longfeather

      The problem was not that they had no answer. The problem was that they misunderstood the question, which was poorly phrased by Tim. This issue has been discussed ad nauseam, hence the overreaction. They assumed he was insulting her, suggesting that she could not “titillate” as the women on GOT do. It was a dumb comparison.

      Also, Dunham never claimed to be the “voice of her generation”. That was an argument made by her CHARACTER, who was high and trying to get money from her parents.

  • Nick

    Good point Tim. Her nudity subtracts value from the show. It makes me turn away. It seems to have achieved the opposite of its intended consequence. Why if Tim is a TV critic, is he not allowed to be critical of a TV program? Does Ms. Dunham believe she is only to be adored bc she has made it? Count your blessings Lena and don't be so defensive about your lack of attractiveness. You possess other (arguably) more important talents.

  • kt

    I think the basic problem is that he implied that nudity could not possibly have a purpose other than sexual titillation. If that's not what he meant, then perhaps he could give an example of another show or TV that uses nudity for a different purpose.

    (If that IS what he meant, then sorry, it's pretty sexist to believe that women's bodies don't exist for any other purpose than to turn male viewers on.)

    • SecludedCompound

      But he didn't imply that; he assumed that the purpose of it in Girls wasn't titillation, as it's not presented that way on many occasions, then he did asked a logical question, that being “what is the purpose.”

      It really seems pretty simple if people aren't waiting to call someone who dares to ask a critical question, about what is apparently now sacred cow, a misogynist.

      • kt

        I don't see that it is a logical question. At the very least, it's not an intelligent one. Has he never seen a movie or TV show or other piece of art where nudity is used for any other purpose? FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (comedy)? PSYCHO (vulnerability)? The JACKASS franchise (shock value)? That one episode of THE WONDER YEARS where Wayne strips down and sits with his friend who's just come back from Vietnam with PTSD (dramatic sadness)? Has he never seen a picture of the Sistine Chapel? The Statue of David?

        Isn't it his job as a critic to try to figure out what the purpose of it is rather than requiring the writer to say something as obvious as “people are naked in real life a lot of the time”?

        • Invader Tak

          No, it is not his job as a critic to “figure out” the purpose of a given thing. It is his job to present HIS opinion on said thing, as an outsider. The purpose of a critic is to act as a go-between an artist and an audience for the purpose of creating discussion and understanding, and that includes making the creator defend their work. It is not the critic's job to figure anything out. Since he is presenting his own opinion, and since opinions can differ, he was perfectly appropriate in asking the creator what the intent of their own work is. The intent of the creator can be lost on an audience, or misinterpreted by one, so expressly asking is a perfectly fine. He was doing his job as a critic here, and LD and company were being jerks. It is their job-and a show of pride in their own work-as creative people to make sure people have the right idea about their work.

  • KBoss

    “I totally get it if you’re not into me, that’s your problem.”

    Ha ha!!! Doesn't that sum up her entire show? She seems to be OBSESSED with her assumption that men are not into her, and she has projected that onto you, Tim. You have done nothing wrong, except that you were the first innocent male who took the bait of her random, flagrant nakedness. Actually, it's not random at all—it's strategic. The point is to entrap you into acknowledging it, then BAM! Your a misogynist and she's the victim.

    This is my own theory about writing these days… If it's good, it doesn't need to be shocking. Lena is talented. It's unfortunate she feels she must rely on being shocking. Tina Fey was never shocking—she never had to be.

    • carl weathers

      Nailed it!

      • kymber23

        Nailed it!

    • Portia

      yes yes yes you and kymber and a few others have her number. She's baiting viewers into confrontation so she can make use of her 20 years of therapy (truth) psycho babble.
      I think all three were hopped up and waiting for a fight. That poor guy.

    • rcdcr

      What is shocking about the human body?

      Dude, you've missed the point of this entirely, I'm afraid.

  • kt

    Also, salient point: the picture above, if it's from the scene I'm thinking of, is of Hannah waking up in Dr. Patrick Wilson's house, right?

    If so, that's a “story reason” right there. Just saying.

    • FightOnUSC

      Exactly. Hannah is always naked because she's always doing things a reckless 20 year old would do naked. She's like a younger Samantha Jones- you can get away with tits and ass on HBO. That anyone can watch the show, see the kind of character Hannah is, observe the things she does and not understand why she's always naked baffles me. That's why I just can't believe Molloy's question was about why is Hannah naked, but why Dunham choose to play Hannah with her not made for TV body knowing she'd be the type of character to be (distractingly) naked all the time.

  • BitesBig

    “I don’t get the purpose of all of the nudity on the show.” Tim is basically saying that anytime a woman is naked she should be trying to sexually stimulate him, if a woman isn't trying to do that he is confused. It is similar to telling a woman who wears baggy clothing that she should show more skin to attract more people. Tim is a creeper who doesn't understand that women aren't there for his sexual satisfaction. Tim can ask any question he wants but if you want people not to think you are stupid, don't ask stupid questions.

    • jj

      Your reading into the question. Which is what Judd did as well. I think you reading into the question shows you are a sexist. Game of thrones attempts to be titillating (which I think is negative and Tim does as well). Not by the actors used but the way scenes or done. In girls she is just randomly naked for really no reason. I get there being an artistic reason. But I don't see it in Girls. The nudity is just random. If the actress fit hollywood's weird definition of beauty it would still be random.

      • E Robb

        You're intentionally not reading into the question.

      • BitesBig

        Reading into things in some circles is called critical thinking, you should try it. Calling someone sexist for calling someone out on their sexism is absurd and banal. Yawn. Here is what confuses me, is Game of Thrones the only show anyone finds “titillating?” For the sake of originality can anyone name another show. And I am sure this is like beating a dead horse but the nudity on Girls is random because its showing that women, some women, like to be naked just for the hell of it. Women are naked because women like being naked, you are not involved in why a woman is naked is the point of girls. If you find it confusing its because you are expecting a naked woman to stimulate you, either sexual or artistically. As if is women are either errotic strippers or or a pretty picture to look at, you are expecting them to some how gratify you. And the expectation is creepy. It would be like me expecting you to remain clueless because you are, I will assume a man or a person who drives or a biker. Although I do expect you to be clueless but not because of your assumed gender, rather just because.

        • carl weathers

          Having a chip on your shoulder and projecting whatever your own issues and motivation are is NOT critical thinking-its emotional and flawed on reason. Know the difference. The journalist even SAID he wasn't complimenting Game of Thrones.

          • BitesBig

            I made no statement about his like or dislike of Game of Thrones (G.O.T), a show which I have never seen. I did state that people lacked originality by constantly mentioning G.O.T. being titillating, as if it was the only sexy show out there. Often critical thinking and reading comprehension goes hand in hand so I am thinking, critically and unemotionally of course, you have mastered neither. You have your tighty whities all twisted up in knots over something that neither Tim or I said, regarding GOT.

    • josh

      thinking critically doesn't amount to thinking you can read someones minds, especially when the rest of the question doesn't support your premise.

      • BitesBig

        Being able to understand the context behind a question is not mind reading. For example, when you say to a friend, “Uh you are wearing that?” It would not be wrong to assume you are dissatisfied with the choice. That's because most people have the ability to hear what is said and come to a conclusion about its underlying meaning. This ability allows us to understand humor, sarcasm, and when someone a creepy. Now of course he has the right to his confusion and to say whatever he wants. However having the right to say what we want doesn't mean that we will not be later held accountable. Josh and others like him have made several comments why it wasn't offensive to people who were offensive, also called mansplaining. I really wonder why they are so invested in defending something so many people find objectionable. Generally, when normal people are told they are offensive, they try to use it as a learning moment rather than reverting back to sophomoric rhetoric of their terrible twos. I can explain, and have, the social context on why it's offensive but simply stating I am wrong doesn't make me any less right.

        • josh

          ‘“I don’t get the purpose of all of the nudity on the show.” Tim is basically saying that anytime a woman is naked she should be trying to sexually stimulate him, if a woman isn't trying to do that he is confused.”

          “Being able to understand the context behind a question is not mind reading. For example, when you say to a friend, “Uh you are wearing that?” It would not be wrong to assume you are dissatisfied with the choice.”

          if you don't understand the difference in your interpretations in the two posts above, i can't help you.

          • BitesBig

            I love this game! All three statements are things men say that piss of women. Josh you have a dog in this fight? Either you are Tim's girlfriend or you are Tim, either way I am moving on to other things. Cheers mate.

  • C.F.

    Lena should change her last name to Dumb Ham. It SO fits. Her conduct was ignorant, obnoxious and crass. She comes across like a real man-hating female chauvinist pig, with NO talent for speaking without a script. She was so busy being insulted, her “answer” missed the entire point of the query. Was that a lack of attention? Worse, her reply demonstrates that, like a true egomaniacal thesbian, she thinks the world revolves around her. LOL! She'll find out the truth, *eventually*.

  • NDForever

    Is that a photo of a woman or a beached whale?

    • kt

      No misogyny here!

      I think perhaps the writers/editors at The Wrap (particularly Malloy) should take a hard look at some of these comments and consider what kind of attitudes they've been promoting and condoning. It's not a “healthy debate” when one side's stance is “oh my gawrsh she is 2 fat 2 b on TV”. I can't debate with Neanderthals.

      • NDForever

        And would you also suggest censoring lefties who have already referred to the whale in the Whitehouse if Christie won the Presidency?

      • NDForever

        It's called mockery. A useful tool and one the left uses regularly on the right. Her show is for mass consumption. My view is that most of the viewing public doesn't care for her mass in naked form. But if the mores of the producers of this lousy show insist on exposing the public to Ms. Dunham exposing her ample form undressed, they and she should be prepared for the ensuing mockery. You or perhaps other who would prefer to decide watcan be said in polite company should censor yourself first. There's nothing racist or even sexist in that post. Nothing. Grow up.

      • josh

        maybe you shouldn't confuse the idiots with a legitimate question…?

  • TwiggyB

    Now that she can afford a personal trainer to get that body in shape, why doesn't HBO suggest that to her? We've seen her change her hair now lets see her change her body.

    • Lillygirl06

      She can probably afford a personal chef too. I'm sure some chef out there would love to plan and prepare healthy low calorie meals for her.

  • alexqzed

    Is there video of the panel discussion? If producers don't want legitimate questions

    then they shouldn't hold press conferences. Or perhaps it would have been better if the reporter asked about who the cast is dating or what they had for breakfast.

  • Jason Brown

    It's pretty bad when we live in such a hypersensitive world that a simple question gets blown all out of proportion… Let us see the interview… Let us decide who is the ‘bad guy'… I'm siding with the person willing to ask the question…

  • theodius

    I think by season 3 Dunham and show producers should have a ready answer and not get so upset. She can be nude all she wants, but if it's more than usual, then have a stock answer. The misogyny claim is silly. In the end a fair question and other journos latching on to and defending the indignant response are just kissing arse.

  • Lillygirl06

    Lena and the producers planned to create a controversy before the press conference started. They seized on the first opportunity they had. It worked. Here we are talking about it. But Lena really should keep her clothes on. Naked in shape people = good. Naked fat people = bad. Really bad.

  • Alpine McGregor

    Tim Molloy begged the question. “And your character is often naked just at random times for no reason.” So if he outright states that thinks the use of nudity is random and serves no purpose, then how is he asking an honest question about her artistic choice? He's already cast judgment.

    Then: in his defensive response he couldn't remotely understand how the phrasing might have rubbed Dunham/Apatow/Konner the wrong way; went on to state that he doesn't know a single person who can fathom a reason for the use of nudity on GIRLS; and then gave thumbs-up to some creepy, misogynistic comments on The Wrap. Ew.

    • josh

      he said he didn't get it. confused isn't passing judgment. even if he had, having an opinion is ok….it's….ok.
      he defended himself by saying he didn't understand why they would attack him personally. i know, disgusting right?

  • Invader Tak

    I haven't seen this discussed anywhere, but I'm going to bring it up; the part of this “discussion” where Jenni Konner said “maybe she's a misogynist” in response to TM saying his girlfriend shared his opinion about the nudity. This was the worst of all the insults tossed out by the three. That's absolutely inexcusable and disgusting. For all anyone actually knows, TM could have been lying to strengthen his point. The fact that she threw “maybe” into the statement doesn't matter; the clear implication was made that questioning her writing makes you a bigot. She called a woman she doesn't know, whose opinion was presented
    second-hand and most of all, was not there to speak or defend herself a
    self-hating bigot. Inexcusable and disgusting.

    As for the critic's question, asking about the nudity 3 seasons in is still relevant because
    the show's creators keep putting it out there, supposedly with meaning.
    Where TM did go wrong was with the comparison to GoT. I really believe that he didn't make that comparison as a dig to LD's body. I think his question was meant to try to get LD to address some of the criticism that has been floating around that her character being the only one in the nude all the time is beginning to feel exhibitionist and more about LD the person rather than the character she plays.

    The bad phrasing on his part was a mistake. The insulting and outright disgusting responses on their part is inexcusable. I'm not apologetic at all to say that I'm fully on the side of the critic with this one. Any decent response to his question was lost with the insults. Once again, LD and her associates give her naysayers fuel for their criticism that she isn't interested in being a real woman of the world; that she's just a brat who wants things her way.

    • http://www.thewrap.com TheWrap

      interesting comment. just for the record, tim wasn't lying, nor does he ever. take that to the bank. sw.

      • Invader Tak

        Well, good to know he's honest! I didn't mean to imply that I thought he was lying, but for the sake of argument was making a point that he could be.

      • BitesBig

        Most hilarious comment, ever. Tim was not lying when he said he had a girlfriend who agreed with him, I thought he might be lying about actually lying about a girlfriend. But unfortunately its like saying, oh I don't hate XYZ group, I have friends who are XYZ.

        • josh

          “But unfortunately its like saying, oh I don't hate XYZ group, I have friends who are XYZ.”
          i'll add this to my incomprehesion to many of your interpretations and comparisons.

    • Portia

      That was absolutely the worst. THEY wanted to be there. Tim was paid to be there. His girlfriend could be a veterinarian or a social worker for all those awful people know. Who the hell are they to go after her?

  • Julie

    It's funny. Comments that expressed disagreeing with Tim haven't stayed posted. How could that be?

    • http://www.thewrap.com TheWrap

      do you promise to take this back when you find out you're mistaken? we don't eliminate comments unless they breach our decency standards for civilized debate. sw.

  • G A Rigsby

    Then please tell your boss that statements like “by you, particularly” is — in fact — an intensely personal comment to direct at a young woman in reference to her body and if he doesn't understand hundreds of years of gender Politics well enough to get that, he should. And the titillating comment, Jesus…

    • josh

      it's in reference to her being the lead character and on screen,and therefore naked, much more than the others. the titillating comment was just as easily understood unless you're looking for a fight.

  • josh

    i don't know if this has been mentioned here, but it escaped me until someone elsewhere brought it up…..

    imagine if a female reporter had asked the question and apatow had asked if she had a boyfriend and if was in to you…..?

    that's what people keep missing. celebrities get asked the same question millions of times, and dumb (though i don't think this was dumb) questions about as much. they could've asked him to clarify where he was coming from if they felt it was meant as something less than legitimate, but they didn't. they attaked him personally,and continued to do so back stage. whatever else you think, if you don't get that they were out of line, then maybe you should avoid talking to people. it could turn out badly.

    dunham and apatow easily could've asked, “do you really not understand it artistically, or do you just not like it personally?” and had a brief discussion to clarify their misgivings, but, again, they simply pounced.

    • josh

      i noticed no one really wants to go near this……doesn't surprise me.

  • Agnes Cruel

    Sharon & Tim,

    I don't know why this is so hard for you to figure out, but the problem with Tim's question is that he did zero critical analysis of the work before he asked his question. If he had done even five minutes of hard thinking before asking his question, I think he would have gotten a much more satisfying answer.

    Since apparently it is asking too much for Tim to do his own thinking, here's my first preliminary take on what Tim could have worked through before launching into his badly worded, unintentionally insulting question:

    “I am looking at this naked person. I don't understand why. I don't find this person attractive. I am not aroused sexually. Wow, how weird that a body looks like that. You really don't see naked bodies like that on tv. It's so disorienting. I wonder if the point of this is to put naked bodies on tv that don't look like swimsuit models. Is that sufficiently interesting reason to do it? Maybe not. We can put lots of things on tv that haven't been there before, but just because we can, that doesn't mean we should. Or is it to make me question the shame I feel about myself because I don't date swimsuit models? Where did I internalize the message that a woman who looks like a swimsuit model is attractive, and one who doesn't is not? Is it innate? Can I be sure of that? I wonder how I could test that theory. Also, where did I internalize the message that if a woman isn't attractive, there's something wrong with her? As I'm sitting here, feeling uncomfortable with this image of this naked body, I'm basically saying I don't know how to think about a woman if I don't find her attractive. But there are interesting women who do interesting things, and their attractiveness is a non-issue. How strange that's how I've come to view the world.”

    Leaping off from that point, here's a non-misogynist version of your question: “I've read in interviews you've given that you use nudity to artistically comment on what is quote-unquote attractive or acceptable. When you're working on an episode, do you find yourself dialing back on the nudity because it's adding another level of commentary to a scene that's already about a lot of other things, or do you feel like there's no way to say too many things in one scene?”

    P.S. You're welcome.

    P.P.S. If you read my comment and find this is the first time you've ever connected these dots, you really need to work on your critical thinking skills.

    • BitesBig

      You are so right. I think what is sad it that a lot of writers don't have the ability to think critically or understand the impact of their words. Rather than try to understand why a part of their demographic is offended, they simply turn to the person sleeping next to them and ask…was I offensive, no OK. Since the show Girls main demographic is women, you would at least think he would feign interest in understanding his audience and what matters to them.

    • Portia

      You're so weird. He feels shame because he doesn't date a swimsuit model? Does that explain the objection to naked men on TV (The Wire etc) that Tim feels shame?
      Weird weird weird.

  • carl weathers

    You're simply making this WAY TOO COMPLICATED. Why the hell is she naked all the time on the show? It often serves utterly NO PURPOSE. This isn't affirming “life” or some ridiculous feminist statement-its just incredibly silly. If you want to do the b.s. sexism/misogynist card(which has worn out its welcome), if we had a comedy with Wilfred Brimley CONSTANTLY nude-not to shower, not for romance-you would get the same question. And actually regular ridicule instead of how “empowering” and pushing the boundaries. Why do people with no answer for their actual lack of creativity and resolving to use the low i.q. shock factor always go defensive with either “pushing the envelope” or insulting the messenger?

  • Vino

    Lena is naked cos she sees herself, alas, as a Sex Symbol.

  • MattMan Returns

    I feel sorry for Tim Molloy, because it looks like he was castigated for merely expressing a confusion inevitibly shared by many in Western society: “What's the point of being naked, if it's not related to sex?”

    Mainstream media teaches, through virtually all situations pertaining to nudity, that the view and exhibition of the naked body is only acceptible when it is in a sexual situation. (Roll the love-scene and cue the music.) This concept is reinforced (especially in comedies) when any non-sexual nudity is treated as embarrassing and/or disgusting.

    Parents reinforce and perpetuate these concepts from an early age, by insisting children (even those who are years away from entering puberty) cover up their “naughty bits” lest those shameful parts be seen. The concepts are cemented when pre-pubescents are taught public nudity is dangerous, due to a justifiable fear of a rare sexual predator. A truth most Americans don't understand is the lack of casual nudity is actually the foundation for these social ills.

    It's unfortunate that Tim Molloy's question was misinterpreted as an insult to Lena Dunham, as if she weren't aesthetically worthy to “titillate” an audience. He never intended for his question to be received that way.

    Lena Dunham squandered an opportunity to be a voice for body-acceptance and non-sexual nudity. I think her own insecurities colored the question as a personal rejection. I think her defensiveness illustrates how there is still a part of her that wrestles with non measuring up to the unrealistic standards of beauty idealized by mainstream media. Her response also initiated a “group-think” mentality, where others continued to misinterpret his question as well.

    This is an empathetic insight, not a condemnation of Lena Dunham, however. It's understandable that anyone who is “exposed” to the reactions of millions of viewers would have a few insecurities. Public feedback can oft times be cruel, and I'm sure she and her crew have endured many disparaging remarks about her “average” non-idealized body. But Tim Mollon was an unfair target for venting their angst.

    • Title IX

      I don't think he asked why be naked if not related to sex. All the Western Society commentary aside, I'm pretty open with my body, but women wear sports bras for a reason. Naked ping pong? That's all for shock value and it's weird, but not weird enough to be Jon Waters weird. She just fails.

  • kymber23

    Dunham is randomly naked all of the time because (in my opinion) she has real life issues with her own beauty/body issues. She also purposely does the nudity thing so people will get to talking. Like her character who clearly has some mental issues, she wants someone to say that she is fat and ugly… then play the victim – make journalists feel bad for asking the question that she knows everyone wants the answer to. Let's call it like she's displaying it – the nudity by her character is way over the top, not sexy, does show character depth or move the storyline forward. She also seems to have the most sex on the show as well ironically enough. The nudity is old and no one wants to see it and she's living out her fantasy and showing her issues under the disguise of “it's my character”. Harsh but true and sad.

  • Portia

    You're more gracious than I would've been. She and Judd and the other vulture piled on this poor guy just doing his job. I know a sexist a mile away. I can SMELL sexism. This guy asked a simple question. Then they drag his girlfriend into it?
    I know you say you love all these folks. I don't. Nothing lovable to see here. Besides Lena also went on to say he needed therapy — when she's been in therapy since she was 7. How nasty was that?
    That crap she does, that navel, and worse, gazing isn't the equal rights my mother and grandmother fought for. It's just a self impressed naked young woman doing who knows what.

  • Portia

    PS I didn't want to look at all the naked butts and guts in NYPD Blue either. Audiences know when they're being manipulated. Lena put your clothes on or stop with the poor me crap.

  • Jowza

    When he used the phrase “by you particularly” is when he made it more personal because he's referencing Dunham specifically rather than a character or characters, which probably brought about the “if you're not into me, that's your problem” personal response. Also she's been asked this 8 thousand zillion times, and probably at some point she's going to lose patience.

  • MJ

    The fact that people still don’t know why what Tim Molloy said was totally sexist and utterly ridiculous just shows what a messed up sexist, media reality we live in, and how low we’ve sunk with the state of women’s liberation. He basically found it hard to understand why anyone would show any realistic female nudity in a film, because women are just supposed to be objectified by men so why would you have any other kind of nudity, duh? Forget about whatever you think of Lena Dunham – that’s the core issue we are talking about here, and the fact that dim-witted Tim can’t see the problem with what he said speaks more to his intellectual capacity than anything else.

    • grizpapa

      Apparently, the whole concept of the question was over your head.
      That speaks more to your intellectual capacity than anything else.

      Actually, it speaks more to the fact that you are desperately trying to find something offensive that really isn't there.

      The nudity in the show used to be “ground breaking” now it just feels like it's nudity for the sake of nudity and has fallen to stunt-like depths.

  • chiwawa

    Dunham is gross. She should do a nude scene with Danny DeVito.

  • jj22

    I think…perhaps….Judd and Lena were overly defensive to a pretty obviously not-well-thought-out question because they have been asked sexist/ignorant questions about the show in the past. I don't think that there should have to be a “purpose” for not wearing a shirt any more than there is a “purpose” for wearing shoes in any particular scene. Yes it is less of a social norm, particularly on t.v., for someone to walk around naked, but it's not unheard of and we're all human….so what exactly does Tim need a purpose for? That may be the real question here.

  • Suk_m3_h47d

    Her photos are pretty salacious……Salacious Crumb. I think I saw him chained to the bed giggling and mocking Luke's plea for Han Solo's life. But of course, Lena said no. She prefers Solo right where he is.

  • Fart Johnson

    Very simple what problem is here. Tim missed the memo that Dunham can only be lavished with awards and placed on the highest of pedestals. No questioning or criticisms allowed!! And if you don't like it, you're sexist and a big fat meanie pants!!

  • wotudezerv

    it's all bull. anyone should be allowed without censure to ASK anyone anything, and this goes especially for the media whose job is to ask. people who don't get that just reveal their lack of intelligence. misogyny my naked butt! besides, americans are so puritanical that we all should have to go to nudist colony therapy until we realize that skin is skin, hair is hair, just like trees are trees. get a life, america. and you claimers of misogyny – grow the ef up. there happen to be real misogynistic issues out there. this ain't one of them. ask your therapist you spoiled bozos.

  • wotudezerv

    hey appatow – apologize. you sound like a ignoramus.

  • skiedrow

    Their hostility and lack of a straight forward answer (other than that he would make everyone naked if he could) shows they really have no answer. She's trying to exude self confidence, but when you shove it down people's throat it turns back into her insecurities. When you see a girl with her body type, most would assume she is insecure about it. We get it, Lena. You don't want people to think that about you.