Kareem has tough criticism of HBO’s ‘Girls’
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a 65-year-old man, a Basketball Hall of Famer, a U.S. cultural ambassador. And he may be the target audience for HBO’s Girls, a show about young urban women.
The NBA’s all-time scoring leader offered a pointed criticism for Huffington Post of Lena Dunham’s award-winning, year-old show. He picked at Dunham’s thin skin toward critics and pointed to actual audience metrics, which show men over 50 compose the show’s biggest viewership demographic. He questioned the identity of the show, suggesting Dunham fell short of her vision and target audience.
First Abdul-Jabbar brought up a common criticism of the show, its racial identity. From the commentary:
Last season the show was criticized for being too white. Watching a full season could leave a viewer snow blind. This season that white ghetto was breached by a black character who is introduced as some jungle fever lover, with just enough screen time to have sex and mutter a couple of lines about wanting more of a relationship.
Abdul-Jabbar was named a cultural ambassador last year by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The goal of his position is to talk “with young people on the importance of education, social and racial tolerance, cultural understanding, and using sports as a means of empowerment,” according to the state department.
He views Girls as a show attempting to be the voice of its generation, only to fall short.
When it takes itself seriously is when it stumbles. I just wish it would express its seriousness by being funnier. … Two other girl-centric shows that reached these same heights to be voices of a generation were My So-Called Life and Wonderfalls. Both funny, yet also insightful and original. Perhaps that’s why they both only lasted one season before becoming cult hits. Girls, a safer more mousy voice, has already been renewed for a third season.
Abdul-Jabbar knows a thing or two about being a visible generational voice. He changed his name from Lew Alcinder, the one he used at UCLA to become arguably the greatest college basketball player of all time, in 1971, immediately after winning his first NBA … [For more on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has tough criticism of HBO's 'Girls', click here.]