Why is Lena Dunham slamming Kanye West’s ‘Famous’ video?
Lena Dunham / Kanye West

There’s never a quiet week for Yeezy, and he’s now drawn outrage for his video for ‘Famous’

Kanye West released the official video for the track from his latest album The Life of Pablo – and has managed to invoke the Facebook-posting wrath of Girls star Lena Dunham.

If you’re in the dark about what this is all about, let us fill you in.

So, what’s so controversial about Kanye’s new video?

The video for ‘Famous’ premiered on streaming service Tidal last week, amid reports that a number of parties were asking for it be pulled before it even went up.

The video features a slow pan of West lying in a large bed next to a number of naked sleeping figures – Taylor Swift, Bill Cosby, George W. Bush, Donald Trump and Chris Brown.

At the end of the video, it pans out to reveal all the synthetic bodies lying in one large bed together.

Kanye West 'Famous'


Erm, interesting. May we ask why he decided to do this?

Well, the video took over three months to produce and was based on a work by American realist painter Vincent Desiderio titled ‘Sleep‘. For Yeezy, it’s all about mixing the high and low brow.

Speaking in an interview with Vanity Fair about it, Kanye commented that the inclusion of sleeping figures such as Cosby and Trump wasn’t meant as an endorsement:

“It’s not in support or anti any of [the people in the video]…It’s a comment on fame.”

Finally, ‘Ye loves controversy! That’s kind of the point. A recently deleted tweet, a few days after the video release read:

“Can somebody sue me already #I’llwait”

So what has Lena Dunham said?

Despite the video being virtually ignored for the first few days of its release, partly due to bigger world issues and the exclusivity of Tidal – someone finally got around to watching the thing and being upset by it.

Actress Lena Dunham shared a long piece on the video on her Facebook. She expressed an admiration for both Kanye and Kim, but also stated that the video made her uncomfortable due to the lack of consent and the inclusion of alleged rapist Bill Cosby next to unconscious bodies.

Does she have a point?

Dunham states that she holds ‘two competing thoughts’ on the video itself.

The actress has never shied away from combating sexism and misogyny, and the use of her platform to highlight these serious issues should be seen as a plus.

However, Dunham then goes on to express her love of confrontational and uncomfortable art:

“If it’s been banned, I’ll probably love it. Because I know that art’s job is to make us think in ways that aren’t always tidy or comfortable. But this feels different.”

Which raises the question – why?

Does this feel ‘different’ because of her personal thoughts on West himself? Or the fact that her friend Taylor Swift is featured as a synthetic naked model? Or perhaps Dunham doesn’t believe that art has a place outside of galleries – in the hands of hip-hop artists?

Either way, there’s a far more friendly version of the video available. An ‘unofficial’ video from Eric Wareheim and Aziz Ansari, which is impossible not to love.


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Main image: Getty