Lena Dunham was in the news earlier this week after more than 600 people registered for an open-call video audition for her new book tour. Each of these people registered to audition to become one of her opening acts, and the role was posted online as one that comes without any compensation from the star. It wasn’t long before the media jumped on this story and began bashing the Girls star for not paying her employees. The 11-city book tour is to promote her memoir, Not Thank Kind of Girl.
However, following the backlash from the media and from critics, she’d decided to reverse her offer and compensate her opening acts on her book tour. One website went so far as to look up the 28-year-old celebrity’s annual income, her book advance and what kind of money she’s going to make on the tour. When that was reported, it wasn’t long before the star made the decision to pay her opening acts for their time and effort on her book tour. News broke during the night that the star would, in fact, compensate her employees.
“As an artist raised by artists, no one believes more than I do that creators should be fairly compensated for their world. Some good points were raised and I’ve ensured that all opening acts will be compensated for their time, their labor and their talents,” Dunham posted to her Twitter account. She also went a bit further and issued a dig about the information provided by some celebrity websites that were hounding her decision not to pay her opening acts.
It’s not the first time that a star has asked people to work as an opening act for a tour without compensation, but it’s the first time it’s happened to a celebrity with a big name, and apparently it did not go over very well.
(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The New Yorker)