CNN Panel Slams HBO’s Girls For Lack Of Diversity: ‘Odd’, ‘Out Of Step’

On CNN’s Starting Point Monday morning, host Soledad O’Brien and TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman took several shots at the homogeneously white new HBO show Girls , chewing it out for its stark lack of diversity.

“The entire show takes place in New York City and, yet, they really don’t have much diversity, if any diversity on the show,” O’Brien observed.

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“That’s definitely one aspect that is a little bit strange for people who live in New York City, which is this wildly diverse city, every time television does this,” Waxman said. “Things are multiracial and multi-everything, you know? That’s the reality. You don’t see that in the characters. It’s kind of a little odd.”

O’Brien observed that Girls‘ staff writer Lesley Arfin responded to the controversy over the show’s homogeneity by Tweeting out “What really bothered me most about Precious was that there was no representation of ME.” The tweet was later deleted.

“Wow!” Waxman responded. “Wow.”

The CNN panel momentarily tried to figure out if Arfin’s racially-inflammatory tweet was a joke.

“Do you think so?” O’Brien asked. “I guess it seems like she’s not necessarily taking the question of representation seriously to me.”

According to ColorLines’ Jorge Rivas, Arfin reportedly apologized for the tweet, but then deleted it, “Without thinking, I put gender and politics above race and class,” Arfin tweeted last Wednesday. “That was careless. The last thing I want is girls vs. girls,” she wrote. Rivas also noted that Arfin had a past history of racially-charged statements.

Waxman did play devil’s advocate, noting that many races self-segregate, but was surprised the show went out of its way to be so white.

“In defense of the show, you know, you can’t [not] say that people do tend to hang out with members of their own race,” Waxman said. “That is kind of a social pattern and you see that over and over on college campuses, among Asian students and African-American students. But, at the same time, it does feel out of step, you know? Nobody walks around in a world where everybody is white — I watched the show last night with an eye — [it] couldn’t be every character would be of the same race — and it actually was.”

Watch CNN’s segment on the show below:

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