While Lena Dunham’s Girls character had no problem getting into the University of Iowa based on her writing—namely Lena Dunham’s writing, which said that she did so—we don’t live in a John Candy-in-Delirious-like world, where merely writing things makes them an actuality (he wrote, before being buried in an avalanche of cash and Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve). And so it goes that Dunham will not be accepted at the actual Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where the show had hoped to film part of its fourth season on the school’s real-life campus. “After reviewing the script, I felt the storyline placed the city and university in an unfavorable light, and considering the potential for disruption, I made the decision to deny the request,” Joe Brennan, the school’s Vice President of Strategic Communication, tells the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
Demonstrating exactly why he has that job, Brennan communicated while strategically avoiding spoilers, saying of the script, “I won’t share details as I don’t think it fair to reveal the plot in advance.” Nevertheless, Brennan added that, despite the show’s popularity—and despite the belief of the local Visitors Bureau that it could create a much-needed “greater awareness of Iowa as the best of the best, especially to a younger audience”—he felt it necessary to “safeguard the reputation” of the school. Obviously Brennan would prefer young people find out about the coolness of Iowa through more traditional means, like eavesdropping on popular kids.
Until Girls’ fourth season—which will surely just dress up some other campus, in a futile attempt to mimic Iowa’s certain je ne sais quoi—we won’t know specifically what offended the university’s sensibilities. But our guess is it involves Adam Driver ejaculating all over Iowa City.