Jenni Konner

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Jenni Konner
Born
Jennifer A. Konner

(1971-05-16) May 16, 1971 (age 47)
Alma materSarah Lawrence College
Occupation
Writer
producer
director
Years active1990s–present
Partner(s)Richard Shepard
Children2
Parent(s)Lawrence Konner
Ronnie Wenker-Konner
RelativesZoë Heller (step-mother)
Jeremy Konner (brother)

Jennifer "Jenni" A. Konner (born May 16, 1971)[1][2] is an American television writer, producer and director. She is best known as co-showrunner and writer with Lena Dunham of the HBO series Girls. In 2016, she directed the season finale of the fifth season of Girls entitled "I Love You Baby" and in 2017, she directed the episode "Latching," which served as the series finale; both episodes were co-written by Judd Apatow, Dunham and Konner.

With Lena Dunham, she ran a production company and is co-founder of the feminist newsletter, Lenny Letter, and its Random House imprint, Lenny Books.[3]

Early life[edit]

Konner was born to a Jewish family[4][5] in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Los Angeles, California. She is daughter of American television writers Lawrence Konner and Ronnie Wenker-Konner (née Wenker).[6][7] Konner has a younger brother, Jeremy Konner, who directs and produces the Comedy Central program Drunk History.[8][9]

Konner graduated from Crossroads School, a progressive high school in Santa Monica.[10] In 1994, Konner graduated from Sarah Lawrence College.[11]

Career[edit]

After finishing school, Konner began working with friend and writing partner Alexandra Rushfield. They were both hired as writers for Judd Apatow's sitcom Undeclared. They then went on to create two short-lived network shows together: Help Me Help You and In the Motherhood. After that the pair stopped writing together and Konner began working as a script doctor. She was hired on a few big-budget Hollywood films to help the writers flesh out their female characters, most notably Transformers: Dark of the Moon.[9]

Girls[edit]

Konner was first introduced to Lena Dunham’s work through watching Dunham’s 2010 film Tiny Furniture. Konner was a big fan of the film and so jumped at the opportunity when HBO offered her the role of supervising Dunham for her new series Girls.[9][12] Since then Konner has become the show’s official co-show-runner, an executive producer and she has written occasional episodes. The show premiered on HBO in 2012 and has since won numerous awards. Dunham and Konner are good friends and have collaborated on several other projects. They also started a production company together called A Casual Romance, with the intent of addressing the gender imbalance in TV and film.[13] On her relationship with Dunham, Konner says “We just really love spending time together, which is good because we mostly have to be together all day every day.”[14]

In November 2017, Konner (and Girls actress Lena Dunham), briefly defended Girls writer Murray Miller — who actress Aurora Perrineau had recently accused of sexually assaulting her in 2012, when she was seventeen — saying "While our first instinct is to listen to every woman's story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year."[15][16] After an immediate backlash, Konner and Dunham quickly apologized for that statement.[17][16]

Other work[edit]

In January 2015, Dunham and Konner released a documentary for HBO about Hilary Knight, the illustrator of the children's books Eloise. Konner worked as the Executive Producer on the project and it was their first production with their company A Casual Romance. The production company's most recent work, Suited, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2016. The film is a documentary that looks at a Brooklyn-based tailoring company that tailors suits for members of the LGBTQ community. It was directed by Jason Benjamin and produced by Konner and Dunham. Suited premiered on HBO in June 2016.[18]

Lenny Letter[edit]

Konner and Lena Dunham collaborated to create Lenny Letter, a weekly online feminist newsletter.[19] The pair started the project with the intention of giving a platform to young female voices to discuss feminist issues. The newsletter features political essays, personal stories, interviews, artwork and even an advice column from Dunham and Konner themselves called "Letters to Lenny."[20] One notable article was an essay written by actress Jennifer Lawrence about the gender wage gap in Hollywood.[21]

Lenny Letter was supported by Hearst Corporation advertising.[22] In December 2017, it was then supported by Condé Nast.[23]

Konner and Dunham also worked with Random House on a book imprint that will extend the aims of Lenny Letter to book publishing.[24]

In October 2018, it was announced the website would be shutting down.[25][26] Reportedly due to a decline in subscribers and failure to build momentum upon other platforms.[27] Contributors were told a week prior to the shut down, receiving fees for unpublished written works.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Konner lives in Los Angeles, California, with her two children and boyfriend Richard Shepard.[9][29]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role
1999 George and Martha Writer
2001–2002 Undeclared Writer, Story Editor
2002 What I Like About You Writer
2003 The O’Keefes Writer
2004 The Stones Executive Story Editor
2005 Pool Guys Writer, Executive Producer
2006–2007 Help Me Help You Writer, Executive Producer
2008 Bad Mother’s Handbook Writer, Executive Producer
2009 In the Motherhood Writer, Executive Producer
2012–2017 Girls Writer, Executive Producer
2015 It’s Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise Executive Producer
2016 Suited Producer
2016 Max Executive producer
2018 Lenny Executive producer
2018 Camping Writer, Executive Producer

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Girls Nominated
2013 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Girls Nominated
2013 BAFTA Awards Best International Girls Won
2013 Online Film & Television Association Best Writing in a Comedy Series Girls Nominated
2013 Writers Guild of America Comedy Series Girls Nominated
2013 Writers Guild of America New Series Girls Won
2013 Golden Globes Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical Girls Won
2014 Golden Globes Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical Girls Nominated
2015 Golden Globes Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical Girls Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Konner, Jenni (@jennikonner) (16 May 2014). "Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes and linkedin invites". Twitter.
  2. ^ Leive, Cindi. "How *Girls*' Executive Producer and Writer Jenni Konner Gets Ahead". Glamour. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  3. ^ "SOUR HEART by Jenny Zhang: Announcing the first book in the LENNY imprint". Lenny Letter. 1 June 2017.
  4. ^ New York Times: "Relationships; Confirming A Child in a Faith" by Andree Brooks February 25, 1985 |"Ronnie Wenker-Konner, a television scriptwriter, let her daughter, Jenny, choose the style and color scheme for the invitations and place settings for the party that accompanied her bas mitzvah"
  5. ^ Interfaith Celebrities: "The Updates Column" By Nate Bloom. May 15, 2012
  6. ^ "Ronnie Wenker Conner - United States Public Records". FamilySearch. February 2001.
  7. ^ Konner, Jenni; Konner, Ronnie; Appet, Leah (23 October 2015). "Why You Should #AskYourMother About Abortion". Lenny Letter.
  8. ^ Wenker-Konner, Ronnie; Appet, Leah (7 September 2008). "A Picture of Health: A Stroke in Prime Time". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ a b c d Martin, Denise (17 January 2013). "The Grown-up Behind Girls: Showrunner Jenni Konner". Vulture. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  10. ^ Del Barco, Mandalit (24 March 2017). "Meet Jenni Konner, The Off-Screen 'Grown-Up' Who Helped Make 'Girls'". All Things Considered. NPR.
  11. ^ "Notes from One Mead Way: Summer 2012 - Sarah Lawrence College". Sarah Lawrence College. Summer 2012.
  12. ^ Leive, Cindi (3 December 2014). "How Girls' Executive Producer and Writer Jenni Konner Gets Ahead". Glamour. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  13. ^ Kang, Inkoo (23 April 2015). "Lena Dunham and Rose Byrne Launch All-Female Production Companies". Indiewire. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  14. ^ Fallon, Kevin (8 March 2013). "Jenni Konner Talks 'Girls,' Lena Dunham, and 'The Facts of Life'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  15. ^ Time Magazine: "Lena Dunham Defends Former Girls Producer After Sexual Assault Allegations" By Jamie Ducharme November 18, 2017
  16. ^ a b "Lena Dunham sorry for comment on writer accused of sexual assault". BBC News. November 19, 2017.
  17. ^ The Guardian: "Lena Dunham apologises for defending Girls writer accused of sexual assault" November 19, 2017
  18. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (20 January 2016). "Sundance: Lena Dunham-Produced Doc 'Suited' Takes Viewers Inside Bespoke Brooklyn LGBTQ Tailor". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  19. ^ Jagannathan, Meera (29 September 2015). "10 fast facts about Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's first Lenny Letter". New York Daily News. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  20. ^ "The Girls collaborators want to change the voice of online feminism—and make some money too". Fast Company. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  21. ^ "Jennifer Lawrence: "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?"". Lenny Letter. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  22. ^ Owen, Laura Hazard (4 March 2016). "Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter has grown to 400,000 subscribers with a 65 percent open rate". NiemanLab. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  23. ^ "Style Notes: Lenny Letter Moves From Hearst to Conde Nast; Stance Socks Expands to Intimates". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  24. ^ "Lena Dunham Sets 'Lenny' Book Imprint and HBO Short-Film Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  25. ^ Lewis, Hilary (October 18, 2018). "Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's Lenny Letter Website to Shut Down (Reports)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  26. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 18, 2018). "Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's Lenny Letter Is Shutting Down (Reports)". Variety. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  27. ^ Willens, Max (October 18, 2018). "Lenny Letters tells contributors it's shutting down on Friday". Digiday. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  28. ^ Ryan, Lisa (October 18, 2018). "Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter Is Reportedly Shutting Down". New York. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  29. ^ Kaufman, Amy (16 April 2017). "Q&A: Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner break down the series finale of 'Girls'". Los Angeles Times.

External links[edit]