Lena Dunham’s debut as host of this weekend’s Saturday Night Live was about as well-received as her HBO series Girls–many seem to adore the Millennial comedienne’s brand of wit, while others find her as irritating as a tick on the scalp. In a self-effacing bit that really could not be avoided, Dunham poked fun at her famed penchant for onscreen nudity with a decent dose of, um, onscreen nudity (on relatively prudish network television; those looking for the good bits will still have to borrow someone’s HBOGo password).
Not everyone in the Twitterverse was thrilled to see Dunham sans clothes for the umpteenth time; @Bobbythornton apparently felt he had to caution the actress, “You don’t always have to get naked.” Lena’s response was an impulsive, “Please tell that to my uncle, mister. He’s been making me!”
It’s just the sort of awkward stab at humor that Hannah, her character on Girls, might have made only to incur offended gasps. Dunham, perhaps realizing that this was no cable television segment, but a real-life joke about sexual abuse, deleted the remark as hastily as she’d posted it.
The deletion alone wasn’t damage control enough, apparently, as the actress tweeted this mea culpa mere minutes later…
The implications of this last remark are twofold; one, maybe there is such a thing as a “great” molestation joke, and Dunham simply missed the mark. Secondly, we can only assume that in those addled, hazy moments just before nodding off, Lena’s mind is preoccupied with thoughts of being naked in front of her uncle. Some of us really have to suffer for our art–but we’d suffer more from Lena if we ever tried to explain that we only made a joke about sexual molestation because we were tired.