Lena Dunham Hires Olivia Pope (the Real One)

The 'Girls' star seems to attract the wrong kind of attention

A recent analysis of HBO’s Girls on Vox claims that Lena Dunham doesn’t really care to address criticism of her show’s less-than-endearing protagonist. It would appear, however, that her personal/professional life is a different story: in an expertly timed pre-holiday weekend Friday Dump, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Dunham has hired PMK-BNC CEO Cindi Berger and crisis specialist Judy Smith.

Yes, that would be the real Olivia Pope.

Why did Dunham feel a pressing need to improve her public profile? We’ll call it chronic, compulsive oversharing.

While her memoir Not That Kind of Girl has attracted a great deal of media attention, not all of it has been positive: in October, the conservative National Review ran a cover story on Dunham’s “pathetic privilege,” and others have zeroed in on a couple of recollections from her memoir — one involving an alleged sexual assault and another involving her younger sister — to call her a liar, a child molester, and various other less-than-flattering things. You can Google it if you must.

On Friday night, our colleagues at The Wrap listed a couple of other controversies that may have prompted the PMK hire, primarily Dunham’s sort-of joke regarding those who criticize Judd Apatow’s “obsession” with Bill Cosby and the accusations made against him:

“It’s sort of like saying someone’s obsessed with the Holocaust.”

Dunham’s reputation strategy so far involves an Instagram apology couched in a promotion for the Time Out issue in which she made the comment:

“My best friend and partner @campsucksinterviewed me and it was a ball. However, I feel I didn’t properly express my respect & passion for Karen O. and Danny DeVito. Additionally 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”

Given the number of headlines this simple post inspired, we have to wonder whether Dunham’s team “leaked” it to strategic press contacts. They clearly have a good bit of work to do if they plan to convince her to leave herself less open to criticism. While attending the recent Golden Globes, she told a reporter:

“I deleted Twitter because I wanted to create a safer space for myself emotionally. People threaten my life and tell me what a cow I am.”

Recent tweets shared with her two million followers seem to belie that claim:

We expect to see more visible evidence of that “overhaul” in the coming weeks and months.

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: January 20, 2015 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/lena-dunham-hires-olivia-pope-the-real-one/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT