TV critic mad because the nudity on “Girls” doesn’t titillate him

What is the point of a naked woman if not to give heterosexual male journalists erections?

Topics: Sexism, Girls, Lena Dunham, judd apatow, Nudity, Sex, , ,

TV critic mad because the nudity on "Girls" doesn't titillate him Lena Dunham (Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

A television critic at the Wrap doesn’t understand why Lena Dunham is naked so much on “Girls” because her nudity doesn’t give him the kind of body tingles that he experiences while watching nudity on “Game of Thrones.”

“I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly,” Tim Molloy asked Dunham at a Thursday press event. “I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on ‘Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they’re doing it. They’re doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason.”

That Dunham replied at all is itself an act of generosity, considering how tired the question of nudity on “Girls” must feel three years into the show.

“Yeah. It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive,” she said. “But I totally get it. If you’re not into me, that’s your problem.”

Despite having his question answered, Molloy pretended that Dunham didn’t answer his question, and the issue was raised again with executive producer Judd Apatow after Dunham left the panel.

After telling Molloy that his question was sexist and misogynistic, Apatow asked him, “As a TV critic you don’t understand why a show about young people in New York who spend some of their time naked, and some of their time having sex, includes women who sometimes are naked and sometimes have sex?”



“There’s male nudity in ‘Walk Hard,’” Apatow continued. “I have people naked when they’re willing to do it. Lena is confident enough to do it so we have the opportunity to talk about other issues because she is braver than other people. If Paul Rudd said to me, I’m willing to be completely naked in the movie, I would use it. If Seth [Rogen] said he was willing to be completely naked — he showed his butt in a post-sex scene in ‘Knocked Up’ — I would use it because it’s more honest.”

“Well then that’s the answer,” Molloy said, apparently without a shred of recognition that what Apatow said was virtually the same response Dunham had given when he first asked his question.

For Dunham, nudity is “a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive.” Another way of saying that is that it’s honest.

But maybe Molloy, who bristled at Apatow’s accusation of sexism, needed to hear it from a man to believe it.

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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