Tread carefully with your Detroit jokes.
A quip spoken by Girls creator-star Lena Dunham in an interview with Howard Stern that was meant to bring the two feuding stars to a detente has been labeled “borderline racist” by a talk show writer.
Dunham’s joke — a response to Stern describing her as a “a little fat girl who looks like Jonah Hill” — came in defense of her realistic physique.
“I’m not super-thin,” she told the satellite radio host. “But I’m thin for, like, Detroit.”
The line didn’t have everyone laughing, particularly those living in the 313. But beyond being just anti-Detroit, one critic is saying Dunham crossed the line into bigotry.
Approached for reaction by The Daily Beast, Yesha Callahan — a 36-year-old writer for BET talk show Don’t Sleep! — read deep into Dunham’s statements, emerging with charges of racism.
“Detroit isn’t known for its population of white people,” Callahan says. She argues that Dunham’s comment shows racial bias for suggesting that Detroit — an urban area with a high population of African-Americans — is a “fat city.”
“She doesn’t want to be judged for her size, so she shouldn’t judge an entire city on theirs,” Callahan says, adding that the offensiveness of the comment is mitigated by the fact that “most people in the city of Detroit don’t know who [Dunham] is.”
Callahan previously made headlines when she leaked a shirtless photo sent to her by Rep. Chris Lee, whom she had met over Craigslist personals. Lee, a married, Republican congressman from New York, resigned just hours after the photo was posted to Gawker.