Donald Glover’s rep confirms actor was just joking about Lena Dunham using the N-word

A  woman in a black gown signs autographs at a film premiere.
Lena Dunham has responded to a joke Donald Glover made at Sunday’s WGA Awards.
(Vianney Le Caer / Invision / Associated Press)

Lena Dunham denies ever using the N-word with Donald Glover after the “Atlanta” actor cracked a joke about it over the weekend.

“Donald Glover told a joke referencing Lena Dunham for last night’s WGA Awards,” a representative for Dunham told The Times on Monday in a statement. “It included, for effect, language Lena never used, nor would use.”

A representative for Glover confirmed in an email to The Times that Glover’s joke was indeed exactly that.


Glover made the remark as a part of an eight-minute talk, full of wisecracks and roasts, to present a comedy award to writer-producer Paul Simms at Sunday’s Writers Guild of America Awards.

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During the bit, Glover recalled working with Dunham on the set of the HBO series “Girls,” in which his character dated Dunham’s character. Glover said he asked Dunham for her take on Simms, who produced “Girls” and later produced Glover’s FX show, “Atlanta.”

“I asked Lena ... ‘Hey, what made you decide to work with Paul?’ And she goes, ‘Honestly, this n— let’s me do whatever I want,’” Glover said, drawing sparse laughter from the room.

He added: “I remember thinking two things: One, Lena is using the N-word extremely liberal with me. Who does she think she is, Chevy Chase? ... And two, that’s the kind of producer I want.”

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Earlier in his speech, Glover had cracked another N-word joke, insinuating that Chase also used the slur with Glover when they worked together on the sitcom “Community” starting in the late 2000s.

The joke renewed buzz around Chase’s history of bad behavior.. He had reportedly used the N-word on set in 2012 and apologized to his “Community” colleagues, according to the Hollywood Reporter.


Both Glover and the show’s creator, Dan Harmon, also claimed in a 2018 New Yorker profile that Chase was known to make racist jokes while on set. Some of the jokes, Harmon said, were directed at Glover out of jealousy.

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Early last year, Chase addressed concerns about hisreputation during an interview on “CBS Sunday Morning.” When asked about stories from colleagues on “Community” and “Saturday Night Live” — some of whom thought he was a “jerk” — he said, “I don’t give a crap.”

“I am who I am,” Chase said. “And I like who I am. I don’t care. And it’s part of me that I don’t care. And I’ve thought about that a lot. And I don’t know what to tell you, man. I just don’t care.”