Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote an Op-Ed criticizing "Girls"

The NBA Hall of Famer says the show is too white


Prachi Gupta
February 1, 2013 11:45PM (UTC)

Did you know that retired professional athlete and NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is also an actor, a writer and a U.S. cultural ambassador? Yep. And now he's one of the many vocal critics of HBO's comedy "Girls."

Abdul-Jabbar recently wrote an Op-Ed explaining why the show isn't really "a voice of a generation."  As he sees it, " 'Girls' wants to tell us something important about twentysomething females of the 21st Century." "And, as the elders of our society," he writes, "we should always be listening to those new voices crying out. But what are they telling us?"

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What this "standard sitcom" is telling us, according to Abdul-Jabbar, is that this generation's world is full of "mostly white," "not that funny" girls whose guy friends are "more interesting." (He has a point).

His harshest critique, below:

Last season the show was criticized for being too white. Watching a full season could leave a viewer snow blind. This season that white ghetto was breached by a black character who is introduced as some jungle fever lover, with just enough screen time to have sex and mutter a couple of lines about wanting more of a relationship. A black dildo would have sufficed and cost less.

I don't believe that people of color, sexual preference, or gender need to be shaken indiscriminately into every series like some sort of exotic seasoning. If the story calls for a black character, great. A story about a black neighborhood doesn't necessarily need white characters just to balance the racial profile. But this really seemed like an effort was made to add some color -- and it came across as forced.

Read the whole thing at the Huffington Post.


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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20-somethings Diversity Girls Kareem Abdul-jabbar Lena Dunham Sex Whiteness

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