Lena Dunham Reportedly Didn't Vote. Why Do We Care?

Getty ImagesThe Internet exploded on Thursday at the news that self-proclaimed "Voice of a generation" actress Lena Dunham reportedly didn't vote in the 2012 Presidential election. 

According to a reporter at the political blog Room 8: I can now report that according to New York City’s voter file, a Lena Dunham registered in Brooklyn did not vote in the 2012 general election or in any local elections since she moved from her prior address in Tribeca.

The backlash is directed toward the fact that in October 2012, Dunham starred in a pro-Barack Obama advertisement urging people to get out there and vote. In it, she used sex as a euphemism for voting, speaking to the camera about her "her first time." 

Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy with beautiful … somebody who really cares about and understands women….Think about how you want to spend those four years. In college age time, that’s 150 years. Also, it’s super uncool to be out and about and someone says, “Did you vote,” and “No, I didn’t vote, I wasn’t ready.”

"My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand. Before I was a girl. Now I was a woman. I went to the polling station and pulled back the curtain. I voted for Barack Obama."

It seemed like Dunham was announcing that her first time voting was in the 2012 election. But as Gawker points out, Dunham was on a trip to India during that time. Slate says she didn't vote in 2004 and Buzzfeed concurs, but adds that she voted in 2008. To make things even more confusing on Thursday morning, an anonymous publicist told Breitbart News, "Lena voted in the 2012 presidential election."

So, did she or didn't she? A representative for Dunham didn't immediately respond to our request for comment and Dunham has tweeted in her defense: "Hey kids, some people on the internet are saying I didn't vote. Some of them are still mad I used a sexy metaphor re: voting. Read on", "Obviously I voted for Mitt Romney. I hope everyone has a nice day" , "So not to be a martyr about it but I flew to New York to vote. I wasn't sure if my change of address had officially been registered so..."

Whether she did or didn't, why do we care? Does George Clooney own the Nespresso machines he hawks in ads? Do we really believe that Sarah Jessica Parker forgoes pricey hair salons for Garnier hair dye in a box? The Presidential election is no Weight Watchers campaign but it's a celebrity endorsement nonetheless and one we shouldn't get too attached to, given the shaky track record of companies using stars to encourage brand loyalty, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder.

If Dunham didn't rock the vote in 2012 when she claimed she did, yes, it's hypocritical. But she's not running for office; she's a Hollywood actress and overly paid author, who, judging from the fact that less people voted in 2012 than they did in 2008, is perhaps the voice of our generation, after all.