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Lena Dunham scandalizes the Today show with the word “penis”

(Photo: Mike Pont/Getty Images)

This morning Lena Dunham asked Maria Shriver if she saw a penis, and the Today show was sent into a tizzy. Dunham was appearing to promote the new season of Girls, and, as the interview was wrapping up, Shriver mentioned she’d seen the first three episodes. “You saw a penis, right?“ Dunham remarked.


Shriver reacted as if Dunham had started spewing profanity rather than simply using an anatomical term. “I’m not sure if you’re allowed to say that on television,” she said, later noting that she “wasn’t brought up talking like that.” Given that “penis” is probably the least scandalous way to refer to the male genitalia, this begs the question of what Shriver thinks is an appropriate way to talk about a reproductive organ—and how she even got through a single half-hour of Girls.

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