Apr 27, 2017

Samantha Bee and Lena Dunham on Hollywood and politics

For the forthcoming issue of the Hollywood Reporter, Lena Dunham, the mastermind behind Girls, interviews Samantha Bee about her upcoming White House Correspondents' dinner special, and more:

Dunham: This is the first election and the first government where we've started holding celebrities accountable for either speaking or not speaking. ... Jenni [Konner, Girls' co-creator] had to point out to me, "You know, the problem isn't female movie stars who didn't talk about Hillary Clinton. You need to f—ing chill out." But I wonder what you think the responsibility of public figures and entertainers is in a moment like this?

Bee: If you have a platform and there's something that you want to say, certainly you should not be ashamed to say it. It's a gift and an opportunity to be able to reach people with your voice. And I don't think that people should be intimidated by their own opinions, and if they want to speak, I don't think that they should be shamed for that. They will be. Of course. It's not what everyone got in this business for.

Dunham: No. Some people just want to dance.

Go deeper

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Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

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Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.

NYPD commissioner: "I'm extremely proud" of officers' response to protests

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in February. Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a public statement Sunday that he is "extremely proud" of the New York City Police Department's response to protests over the death of George Floyd Saturday night, writing: "What we saw in New York City last night and the night before was not about peaceful protest of any kind."

Why it matters: New York City residents captured several instances of police officers using excessive force against demonstrators. In one video, two NYPD SUVs are seen ramming into protesters who were blocking a road and throwing traffic cones at the vehicles.