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Don’t Work for Free — or Even Cheap — for Rich People

"Lena Dunham, the New York Times revealed Monday, was not planning to pay the seven artists she selected via YouTube auditions to open for her on her Not That Kind of Girl tour. As Gawker points out, this is particularly outrageous in light of the fact that Dunham not only earned a $3.7 million advance for the book, but also makes something like $6 million annually, and tickets for the tour in question have sold for $38 apiece.

It’s all reminiscent of the controversy that surrounded Amanda Palmer in 2012, when the musician raised $1 million on Kickstarter and then issued a call for “volunteer” horn players. Both Dunham and Palmer ended up resolving to pay the performers they recruited — and to the former’s credit, she addressed Gawker’s piece just hours after it went live, (backhandedly) thanked the site for the “good note,” and said she had “ensured that all opening acts will be compensated for their time, their labor and their talents.”

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