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The great Lena Dunham–Planned Parenthood font dispute

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It all started with a T-shirt and a bunch of celebrity selfies.

It all started when Lena Dunham released a T-shirt in collaboration with Planned Parenthood. She emblazoned it with “LENA <3 PLANNED PARENTHOOD” and sent it to Ellen Page, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Gabrielle Union, and other celebrity friends. The Girls star dutifully Instagrammed all of their selfies.

And then I tweeted something that caused a lot of trouble.

 

 

Final one…

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

 

While in London for her book tour, Dunham went on a social media binge trip to spread her friends’ photos, automatically tweeting out everything she Instagrammed (auto-share is a bit annoying).

I couldn’t help but notice that the word “LENA” is much larger than “PLANNED PARENTHOOD” on the shirt. The design positions Lena as the star of the campaign, rather than Planned Parenthood.

I raised my concerns with Lena directly.

Dunham responded.

The Brooklyn designer, Teddy Blanks from CHIPS-NY, then stepped in:

Lena apologized, after realizing she’d shifted the blame entirely onto Blanks:

Afterward, I DM’d Blanks about the fiasco.

“Who funded the whole Lena PP T-shirt project?” I asked.

“I actually don’t know! I can only speak to design,” Blanks responded.

I asked him if he expected any criticism over the design, and Blanks said it was a concern of his: “Lena brought it up, but both the PP people and I thought it looked better this way. When the fonts were all the same size, her name looked puny, it made for a worse shirt. It was purely an aesthetic decision.”

It’s only a font. I regret that it turned into such a big deal that Dunham’s designer had to take the blame—even if temporarily. But with the social media storm currently erupting around Dunham over some questionable quotes in her new book, some are pushing for Planned Parenthood to drop her altogether, using the hashtag #DropDunham.

Will #Shirtgate add further fuel to the flames?

Photos via Lena Dunham/Instagram

Nimrod Kamer

Nimrod Kamer

Nimrod Kamer is a journalist and satirist based in the U.K. whose work has appeared in the GQ, Vice, Wired, the Guardian and Huffington Post, as well as on BBC Newsnight. He is the author of The Social Climber's Handbook: A Shameless Guide.