Lena Dunham Compares Jewish Boyfriend to Her Dog, Upsets Anti-Semitism Group

by Jessica Roy 11:48 AM PDT, March 27, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Whoa there, Lena Dunham!

The Girls creator and star recently published a piece in the New Yorker titled "Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz," where Dunham asked readers to decide whether statements on the list applied to her Jewish boyfriend (Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff) or her dog (Lamby, who has his own Instagram, naturally).

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Some of the statements included:

"I feel that he is judgmental about the food I serve him. When I make something from scratch, he doesn’t want to eat it, but he also rejects most store-bought dinners."

Immediately following that one:

"This is because he comes from a culture in which mothers focus every ounce of their attention on their offspring and don’t acknowledge their own need for independence as women. They are sucked dry by their children, who ultimately leave them as soon as they find suitable mates."

From there, it gets more questionable:

"He doesn’t tip."

"And he never brings his wallet anywhere."

"He briefly dated another Lena, but she was black and a runner."

"He is openly hostile toward the Hasidic community, focussing most of his rage on their bulky (but chic) fur hats."

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Naturally, not everyone is amused. The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights anti-Semitism, released a statement on Friday condemning the piece.

"Some will certainly find Lena Dunham's stereotypes about cheap Jews offensive," said Abraham Foxman, the national director of the ADL, in the statement. "Others will take issue with the very idea of comparing a dog and a Jewish boyfriend. The piece is particularly troubling because it evokes memories of the 'No Jews or Dogs Allowed' signs from our own early history in this country, and also because, in a much more sinister way, many in the Muslim world today hatefully refer to Jews as 'dogs.'"

They placed some of the blame on The New Yorker for running the piece:

"While we understand that humor is its own special brand of expression and always try to give leeway to comedians, we wish that she had chosen another, less insensitive way to publicly reflect on her boyfriend's virtues and vices. We are surprised that the New Yorker chose to print it."

Dunham has yet to respond to their statement, however The New Yorker tweeted in response, saying critics are "howling in the wrong direction."

"The Jewish-comic tradition is rich with the mockery of, and playing with, stereotypes," David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, said in a statement with the tweet. "Lena Dunham, who is Jewish and hugely talented, is a comic voice working in that vein."

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