Lena Dunham asks artists to perform for free on her book tour

Lena Dunham who got $3.7 million in advance for a book, where the book tour tickets alone would generate $304,000 in revenue, decided in a moment of Amanda Palmer "Beers, hugs, and high-fives" frenzy that the artists she enlisted to perform as opening acts on her book tour should not get paid a dime. Not even gas money. They'll get exposure, see.
Aaaah. Exposure. How is it that saying goes? Money is what you live on; exposure is what you die from.
This we gather from reading the New York Times :

Nearly 600 people responded to an open call for video auditions on her website, including a sand artist, a ukulele player, a cappella singers, gymnasts, performance artists and stand-up comics, even some exceptionally charismatic babies.
The seven who made the final cut won’t be making cameos in “Girls,” Ms. Dunham’s HBO show about Brooklyn 20-somethings. Instead, they’ll be the warm-up acts — performing free of charge — on an elaborately produced, 11-city tour to promote Ms. Dunham’s new book, “Not That Kind of Girl.”

Gawker (of all places) were the ones to point this out, prompting Lena Dunham to change her mind and tweet:

Much like when Amanda Palmer changed her mind too she's spinning it as helping a fellow artists. Isn't it interesting that the artists doing this are usually on the front lines when it comes to promoting raising the minimum wage? Social consciousness is great as long as it doesn't come from your own wallet, aye? It's also interesting that the tide has turned from the old "you can sell T-shirts" failed economics to people demanding that Lena Do The Right Thing™ within minutes of a Gawker article. The blog that Lena herself didn't hesitate to sneer at in a follow-up tweet. 'The fact that Gawker pointed this out really proves Judd Apatow's saying that "a good note can come from anywhere."'. Heh.
Of course, Gawker's own interns didn't deserve to be paid, so that's a totally different story, y'all. Interns at Gawker are just greedy, see.

Leave a comment

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm after growing up in Kiruna, Raleigh and Jiddah.