Jon Stewart didn’t actually ask Lena Dunham about her book tour controversy — he just complimented her on the impressive way she gracefully handles the vitriolic criticism that’s lobbed at her by non-fans more often than at any other performer he’s ever witnessed. Dunham responded that it can definitely be challenging to know “I’m going to have a TV show, and write a book, and everyone’s going to hate me on the internet.” But, she said, she likes to focus on the “gift” of having people “pay special attention” to her work. (See video below)

“My motto is to try to react with class and a little bit of sass.”

Her Girls character, she said, is herself,  two and a half years ago, adding that, back then, she must have handled situations  “badly, because my character’s a total asshole.”

Earlier this week, the HBO star became a topic of conversation, when The New York Times reported breathlessly that nearly 600 people had responded to an open call for video auditions for her “ambitious” 12-city book tour. “Three of the videos were disturbing, but the rest were super awesome,” Dunham gushed to the NYT, adding she’d spent several hours screening the auditions in bed. In passing, the NYT said the seven artists who made the final cut would not get cameos in Dunham’s HBO show but, “instead, they’ll be the warm-up acts — performing free of charge — on an elaborately produced, 11-city tour” to promote her book Not That Kind of Girl.

The website Gawker, however, found the salaries being paid to these performers more noteworthy than the fact that Dunham screened the videos in bed, in contrast to NYT, and hilariously did the math:

– Forbes’ estimate of Lena Dunham’s annual earnings: $6 million

– Lena Dunham’s book advance: $3.7 million

– Tickets sold for Lena Dunham’s book tour: 8,000

– Price per ticket: $38 (or $900, from scalpers )

– Total book tour ticket revenue: $304,000

– Percentage of book tour revenue reserved for regular people performing as warm-up acts for Lena Dunham: 0

– Number of minutes that Lena Dunham would need to spend writing in order to earn the money that will be paid to the warm-up acts on her upcoming book tour: 0

After that was published, Dunham tweeted  she’d decided to “compensate” opening-act performers:

https://twitter.com/lenadunham/status/516696143259254784
and:
https://twitter.com/lenadunham/status/516696349606428673