If we lived in an ideal world, this would be a clarification that wouldn’t have been needed in the first place, but, you know, we don’t, and it is. So, in mildly good news, Howard Stern has publicly apologized after calling Lena Dunham a “little fat chick” whose nude scenes on Girls are equivalent to rape, noting that “it’s hard for little fat chicks to get anything going.” Per Stern’s explanation, the whole thing was totally out of context.
“I felt bad because I really do love the show Girls, and enjoy it, and I admire the girl who writes it,” Stern explains (clip below). “It makes me feel bad, and I think she is getting the impression that I somehow think she’s just a talentless little fat chick.”
Which she just may have, given that he explicitly stated as much multiple times, on air, but whatever. For her part, Dunham had already taken the whole thing in stride prior to the apology, and told David Letterman last week “I want my gravestone to say, ‘She was a little fat chick and she got it going.'”
So, Howard Stern said something shitty and attention-grabbing, Lena Dunham made a funny, tasteful public response. The only really interesting thing here is Stern’s plea for a chance to explain himself on air. That could actually be cool. Not so much for the public mea culpa, which would likely be more awkward and perfunctory than it would epiphanic about gender and media and what have you. No, it sounds potentially great because a person as pathologically open as Dunham would make a truly incredible Stern guest. I assume someone out there is already brokering this, but if not, I’m officially putting in a request that it happen immediately.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.