The Schmooze

Gabrielle Union Talked to Lena Dunham About ‘White Girl Privilege’

Gabrielle Union is checking white celebrities on their privilege.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the “Birth of a Nation” actress touched on a productive conversation she had with Lena Dunham about “white girl privilege.”

Union added that she would also like to dialogue with Amy Schumer and Kate Upton on similar issues. The actress was critical of comments Upton made after NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutalities against minorities.

“Sitting or kneeling down during the national anthem is a disgrace to those people who have served and currently serve our country,” Upton wrote on Instagram.

Union said she hopes that conversations with these actresses might “help to explain the oppressive systems that have benefited and allowed them to say these careless, insensitive and offensive things.”

There’s a whole lot of “bullshit” that comes with being a black actress, Union said, and sometimes it is hard to know which battles to fight.

“When do you stand up and point out every micro-aggression, and when do you stand down so you’re not the angry black person all the time? It’s tiring,” she said. “It feels like another job that you’re not getting paid for—that is all encompassing.”

Thea Glassman is an Associate Editor at the Forward. Reach her at or on Twitter at @theakglassman.

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Gabrielle Union Talked to Lena Dunham About ‘White Girl Privilege’

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