Lena Dunham: I don't write for money

She writes for "glory"

By Alex Halperin

Published December 5, 2012 8:05PM (EST)

Today's self-awareness award goes to "Girls" creator and $3.5 million book deal possessor Lena Dunham, who called writing for money "weird" in an introduction to Judd Apatow's script of "This Is 40."


Dunham ponders the “many reasons” people write which include “glory” and the ability to use the keyboard to “figure things out.”

As for filthy lucre? That’s deemed “a weird plan.”

Dunham's right if by "weird" she means "really bad." Still the optics may not sit well with Dunham's fellow young creatives, almost all of whom have internalized a bit more about the struggles that can precede artistic careers.

Even viewed in the worst possible light, however, Dunham's blithe attitude about her own success barely rates compared to that of Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth, from this week's blockbuster profile in the New Yorker:

After a year, [Elisabeth] Murdoch yearned to demonstrate her entrepreneurial mettle. “I felt I wanted to be my own boss,” she said. With a bank loan guaranteed by her father, she and Pianim bought two small NBC-affiliated stations in central California. They quickly increased profits by improving local news and programming, boosting ad sales, and reducing the staff. A year later, they sold the stations and made a profit of twelve million dollars. They had their first child, and, not long after, Elisabeth decided to apply to Stanford Business School. When she called to tell her father, she says, he replied, “You don’t need a fucking M.B.A.! I’ll give you an M.B.A. What you need to do is to go to London and work for BSkyB and see the amazing things they’re doing to introduce digital television.”...

By early 1997, Elisabeth Murdoch wanted to leave BSkyB, but, she said, “I probably didn’t have as much confidence in myself as I do now. I was not assertive. I felt I had to prove something to myself by being on the outside.” But her father loomed large, and she believed that if she left BSkyB “he would feel I failed."

The Intrepid young Murdoch struck out on her own to start a TV production company called Shine. She sold it to Rupert's News Corp. for $670 million.


Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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Business Girls Judd Apatow Lena Dunham Writers And Writing