I think this topic is good for another post.
Girls is intended to be a more realistic Sex and the City, with younger characters and darker humor. Sex and the City was about four white women. Girls is about four white girls. So what’s the big deal?
Some suggested that the prominent gay character in Sex and the City, Stanford (played by Willie Garson), trumped the absence of blacks because the gay lobby is a lot more powerful than the black lobby. There’s probably some truth to this. How could anyone criticize Sex and the City for not being “diverse” enough when the show was making prominent strides towards the very important goal of making gay men really cool? Because of Sex and the City, every single woman wants to have a gay friend like Stanford.
And what about other shows about white people in New York City such as Friends, Seinfeld, or Gossip Girl?
As I wrote yesterday, if you randomly looked into apartments in the Williamsburg and Greenpoint areas of Brooklyn being shared by twenty-something women, in the vast majority of cases they’d be inhabited by all white people. All you have to do is walk around Williamsburg to see that it’s an extremely white place. The “hipster” movement just doesn’t have much attraction to non-white people. (The geography of Brooklyn, mainly the BQE and the Newtown Creek, keep this area walled off from outside NAMs. The Hispanics still living there are slowly being squeezed out by the forces of hipster gentrification, and the city had the foresight to never erect any housing projects in this area. Or perhaps the real reason for lack of housing projects is that it was originally considered an industrial area unfit for human habitation.)
If instead of four white girls there were two white girls, a black girl, and an Asian girl, would more people watch the show? The answer is no. Fewer people would watch because fewer people would see themselves in the show. No matter how many Asians and blacks you stick into a show about SWPLs, Asians and blacks aren’t going to be interested in watching, because it’s not a show about themselves.
So the real reason some hardcore liberal types are upset about Girls is because they think that HBO is sending the wrong message to proles and others who don’t think correct thoughts about race. Or maybe the real reason is because the show reminds them of their own racist lives which don’t have the correct mix of diversity, and this makes them feel guilty.
* * *
There was an Asian girl who made a brief appearance in the first episode. When the main character asks her boss at her internship if she can actually get paid for her job, one of her arguments was “but she gets paid,” she being the Asian girl sitting at a desk in the office. The boss replies “she knows Photoshop.” This rather humorously demonstrates how the white elite really feel about Asians. They are ruining things for everyone else by learning useful job skills. The show can get away with this because racism against Asians is tolerated.
* * *
I haven't said anything about the untapped market of Hispanic viewers. The problem is that there are SWPL Hispanics who will be perfectly happy watching Girls, and prole Hispanics who enjoy stuff like Paul Blart, Mall Cop. And then there's Univision. The Hispanic market is pretty well served.