Lena Dunham Slams Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean” For Promoting Mixed Message

Truth rating: 10
Lena Dunham Justin Bieber

By Shari Weiss |

Lena Dunham Justin Bieber

(Getty Images)

Lena Dunham slammed Justin Bieber’s new song “What Do you Mean?” on Monday for allegedly promoting a mixed message.

As Gossip Cop reported, Bieber’s first solo single in years premiered on Friday, and quickly broke the record for the fastest song to hit number one on iTunes. On Sunday, he performed it live for the first time at the VMAs, and the music video dropped shortly afterwards. The lyrics, as Bieber has explained, are about the difficulty of communicating with your significant other.

It’s not clear what exactly prompted her tweet, but on Monday, Dunham posted, “Let’s do away with pop songs where a girl nods yes when she means no and vice versa, k?” Though she didn’t mention Bieber or his song by name, the “Girls” creator seems to be referring to this specific line: “What do you mean?/When you nod your head yes/But you wanna say no/What do you mean?”

Such verbiage is often associated with the issue of consent and discussions of rape. Many court cases have been forced to debate “yes means yes, and no means no.” But it’s important to be clear that Bieber is NOT promoting sexual assault or forcible sexual situations. In fact, his song is really about the opposite.

“When you don’t want me to move/But you tell me to go/What do you mean?” sings the superstar. It could actually be argued that Bieber is drawing attention to the uncomfortable situations that often arise between couples and suggesting people talk about them. The superstar is singing about the consequences of mixed signals and perhaps sparking an open discussion.

He’s hardly promoting or trying to profit off the implication that Dunham’s tweet suggests. Tell Gossip Cop what you think about the controversy surrounding the interpretation of Bieber’s song “What Do You Mean?” below.


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