It’s no secret to many in Hollywood that Lena Dunham‘s biggest problem is Lena Dunham. It looks now like the “Girls” creator and star is attempting to solve it by hiring two heavyweight public relations pros to overhaul her image.
Dunham’s agent, along with Berger and Smith’s offices, have not yet returned TheWrap‘s request for comment.
The Judd Apaptow protégé uploads shots of bloodied underwear (from a dog bite) to Instagram, stirs up Twitter with unsolicited thoughts on the celeb nude photo hack or provokes invective with her book of essays. She’s got a thoroughly modern case of foot-in-mouth disease that seems malignant — until the these big guns foreseeably save the day.
TheWrap looks back at five recent blunders that would make Berger and Smith’s hire money well spent:
The Ol’ Holocaust and Bill Cosby Analogy
As recently as Friday night (Berger and Smith are apparently jumping right in), Dunham snuck an apology into an Instagram caption, saying, “I’m already aware comparing Bill Cosby to the holocaust wasn’t my best analogy. With love from your special rape-hating Jew friend, Lena.”
The analogy in question was from a recent Time Out New York interview in which she addressed critics of Judd Apatow‘s crusade against Bill Cosby who called the writer-director “obsessed” with heckling the accused comedian on Twitter and in interviews.
“It’s sort of like saying someone’s obsessed with the Holocaust. It’s not ‘I’m so angry about Hulk Hogan’s sex tape.’ This is a huge issue, and it speaks to the way that we abuse power and the way that celebrity allows for injustice,” she said.
Spare the Nipple
As recently as the Golden Globe awards, Dunham’s “Girls” showrunner Jenni Konner shared a shot of Lena getting ready for the red carpet. Dunham displays her oft-bared upper body, her breasts sporting nipple covers (or “petals,” a frequent red carpet preparedness tool) with the caption “#Freethenipple.”
Except — if you want to get technical about it — the nipple wasn’t actually freed. And the photo had little to do with an actual, awesome campaign that encourages empowerment by showing the nipple. It instead just seems like a proxy brag from the Beverly Hilton as Dunham was mid-hair-and-makeup.
The “Barry One” Rape Controversy
An account of sexual assault during her college days, published in her book “Not That Kind of Girl,” led to a vortex of rage, Republican crossfire, legal missives and confusion.
In the book Dunham identifies her assailant as a Republican named Barry. A Breitbart News investigation led the website to come up empty on a man fitting the very colorful additional description painted by Dunham, which included particulars such as a “flamboyant” mustache, a very deep voice and purple cowboy boots.
Some of the basics pointed toward attorney Aaron Minc’s client, whose name is Barry and was a well-known Republican who attended liberal arts school Oberlin College at the time Dunham was a student there. Dunham’s publisher Random House issued a statement apologizing, clarifying the name “Barry” was a pseudonym and pledging to amend future reprints of the book.
And just prior to that book snafu …
Child Molestation Accusations Hurled at a Childhood Memory
Dunham’s critics accused her being a child molester after reading an excerpt in her memoir, in which she describes curiously exploring her 1-year-old sister’s genitals at the age of seven.
“The right wing news story that I molested my little sister isn’t just LOL- it’s really f–king upsetting and disgusting,” Dunham tweeted about the incident. “And by the way, if you were a little kid and never looked at another little kid’s vagina, well, congrats to you.”
“Usually this is stuff I can ignore but don’t demean sufferers, don’t twist my words, back the fuck up bros,” the “Girls” creator continued. “I told a story about being a weird 7 year old. I bet you have some too, old men, that I’d rather not hear. And yes, this is a rage spiral. Sometimes I get so mad I burn right up. Also I wish my sister wasn’t laughing so hard.”
That Time She Didn’t Pay Her Book Tour Performers
We all felt the reverberations of Dunham’s $3 million book advance, and then the preciousness of her 12-city book tour that featured A-list cameos and musical performers. It also featured local artists and creative types, presumably to function as opening acts, recruited to perform for free. Gawker and other blogs took issue, in light of her handsome compensation.
“As an artist raised by artists, no one believes more than I do that creators should be fairly compensated for their work,” Dunham tweeted in wake of criticism. “This feature of the tour was meant to be a way to showcase local talent and I could not be more excited about it.”
“Some good points were raised and I’ve ensured that all opening acts will be compensated for their time, their labor and their talents,” she concluded.
These are only a smattering of Lena’s controversies. Share your favorites in comments. (All Tweet typos are Dunham’s own.)