Lena Dunham Hires 'Scandal' PR Expert, PMK-BNC (Exclusive)
Judy Smith and Cindi Berger will provide strategic advice to the 'Girls' creator.
Lena Dunham is taking a more active role in her press coverage, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Crisis management expert Judy Smith (the inspiration for ABC's Scandal) of Smith & Company and PMK-BNC chairman and CEO Cindi Berger have signed the multihyphenate Girls creator and will work together to provide her with strategic council. Dunham will continue to be represented by UTA.
Dunham, 28, has been a reliable generator of headlines since her HBO cult comedy debuted in 2012. An outspoken and polarizing figure on social media, she has been the subject of several unflattering stories on Gawker and other websites even as she has become one of Hollywood's most successful figures under 30.
Dunham released a best-selling memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, this fall to much commotion. The book included a passage that led to allegations of child molestation and a segment in which she recounted an unwanted sexual encounter with a classmate at Oberlin College. Certain identifying details about the classmate, called "Barry" in Not That Kind of Girl, were pegged to an Oberlin alumnus of the same name, who denied his involvement in the alleged assault. Dunham later penned a BuzzFeed column confirming that the man in question was not the subject of her story, and in December, Not That Kind of Girl publisher Random House announced that subsequent printings of the book would include a disclaimer that "Barry" is a pseudonym.
The Golden Globe winner and Elle magazine's February cover girl for its Women in TV issue has drawn praise and condemnation of equal fervor since becoming a showrunner at the age of 25. Earlier this month HBO renewed the critical hit for a fifth season. The show's fourth season premiered last weekend. At the Golden Globes on Sunday, Dunham told E! that she had "deleted Twitter because I wanted to create a safer space for myself emotionally," but she has continued to update her account, which has nearly 2 million followers.
Smith, known for her handling of high-profile people and those facing crises, is the basis for Olivia Pope, the crisis manager played by Kerry Washington on Scandal. She recently consulted with Sony for its handling of the hack attack.
Berger is one of Hollywood's top personal publicists, handling such clients as Mariah Carey, Billy Crystal, Robert Redford and Kathy Griffin.