Give Lena Dunham some credit: She hasn’t shied away from acknowledging how monochromatic Girls is, even if her answers haven’t been incredibly satisfying. As single-note as the people of color on the show have been—Donald Glover’s unicorn Young Republican, a bevy of tsk-ing nannies and office workers—Dunham at least has the racial sense to not ask Queen of queens Beyoncé to play a janitor on an episode of Girls, as a widely circulated Tumblr post alleged she did. The above image is actually from a Tumblr called Lena Dunham Tweets, which mixes real Dunham Tweets with fake ones—and this fake one, which was originally posted in late March, gathered so many thousands of angry reblogs shocked at the alleged impropriety that the site’s owners had to whip up a post explaining the hoax.
“A certain Tweet published by this blog has recently been getting a lot of attention, and I would like to make a few things clear: This blog is satire. Easy, lazy, silly satire,” they wrote. “This blog finds Lena Dunham a source of curiosity, second-hand embarrassment, pretentiousness, and questionable ethics. However, this blog also finds her to be a source of inspiration for humour.
“We repeat: The ‘Beyonce/janitor’ Tweet was not real. No offence was intended towards janitors. Janitors are cool.”
Still, that the image spread so quickly—I saw it pop up on my dashboard multiple times, with attached comments such as “Take this piece of trash out” and “STOP LENA DUNHAM JUST STOP”—says something about how willing people are to believe that Dunham is not so transparently racist, given her previous history. At the very least, it says something about how quickly macros spread on Tumblr regardless of the truth, boiling every problem—alleged or actual—into an arms race of who can get the most incredulously mad the fastest.