Dear Mr. Abdul-Jabbar,
We’ve never met or shaken hands or arm-wrestled or built a gazebo out of branches, mud, and just the right amount of teamwork but I still feel like I can write you this open letter since you wrote an open letter.
With me being a white male in his thirties you must be saying to yourself: “Finally. HERE’S THE GUY that can speak for the next generation with verbosity, panache, and pitch-perfect wit.” No you’re not. You’re having sex with supermodels from every intersection of the world on top of your piles and piles and piles of money that you earned for throwing a ball into a hole really really well, while dismissing me as a nobody (understandably so, I have $200 in my bank account, I don’t know anything, right?).
Here’s my question for you: Has Lena Dunham ever told you how to play basketball? No? REALLY? NOT ONCE? Not even some pointers on HORSE? Then maybe definitely stop telling her what to write about.
I am sick of critics in general but you’re a professional basketball player (an AMAZING one at that, one of the absolute best) not Roger Ebert. If you can write a show about young girls in this day and age that includes every race and every gender and every sexuality and haircut, then do it, you’re a shoe-in for success, ‘SHOWTIME’ will buy anything (literally; they just bought two socks and a can of soup from me for Executive Producer credits).
Otherwise, stick to talking about what you know about. The show isn’t racist. It’s about a bunch of privileged, white girls trying to figure out who they are. THAT’S THE SHOW. It just happened to become super successful because it’s one of the best written shows on television.
You rail about the second season’s premiere, did you watch it? The exchange between Donald Glover and Lena Dunham was one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my entire life. If you don’t think so, then we just have to agree to disagree (and that you don’t know what’s funny, you play basketball extraordinarily well but you are not a comedy or TV critic in any real regard).
This letter is an open letter to everybody, not just you Mr. Jabbar: if you don’t like something and think it should be better, THEN MAKE SOMETHING BETTER. Complaining is just spitting into the ocean.
– Sam Grittner