Published October 26, 2012
Actress Lena Dunham likens voting for Barack Obama to losing her virginity in an official Obama campaign ad appearing on the campaign's website.
Critics have lambasted the spot, vetted and approved by President Obama's campaign, calling it tasteless and inappropriate for the campaign to target young female voters with the sexual double entendre.
Titled "Lena Dunham: Your First Time," the creator of HBO's hit series "Girls" talks directly to the camera, saying: "The first time shouldn't be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy. Someone who really cares about and understands women."
Dunham proceeds to get a bit more overtly political in the commercial, adding the “first time” should be with "a guy who cares whether you get health insurance and specifically whether you get birth control."
She then gets into full campaign mode, touching on several hot button issues in the Presidential campaign, saying "You want to do it with a guy who brought the troops out of Iraq" and "You don't want a guy who says, 'Oh hey, I'm at the library studying,' when really he's out not signing the Lilly Ledbetter act."
Dunham closes the ad with: "My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand. Before I was a girl, now I was a woman. I went to the polling station, I pulled back the curtain, I voted for Barack Obama."
The double entendre ad has come under intense criticism.
Lauren Thompson, research analyst for the Media Research Center, says the ad “shows how completely out of touch the Obama campaign is with young women.”
“As a woman I am extremely offended. The Obama administration has devolved women to nothing more than a set of reproductive organs with needy, government dependency,” she continued. “This ad is inappropriate because it is sexualizing the voting process. This isn't an ad the average family would want their daughters to see.”
Public relations pro Ronn Torossian said he was appalled that as a parent, he may have to shield his children from seeing the official spot.
“What is this country coming to if I cannot allow my young kids to watch campaign ads for the incumbent President of the United States? Presidential campaign ads shouldn’t be R-Rated – it’s offensive and inappropriate,” he said. “Owning a PR agency that works with brands and celebrities, I question the wisdom of running offensive, divisive advertisements in such a close election."
“It's a pathetic ploy by the Democrats to try and lure the younger female vote," added media trainer Louise Pennell. "As a female, ask me the question 'Who would I rather have my first time with?' My answer would be.... The guy who can make sure I can pay my bills!"
However, not everyone was so offended by the “amazing first time” shared by Dunham.
“I don't think anyone should be outraged by this ad. It addresses issues of importance to young women in a way that's both humorous and relevant. It's far from offensive and it's certainly not inappropriate,” Steve Hall of Ad Rants remarked. “Some might argue the comparison is crude and irrelevant. I'd disagree and argue a decision regarding who enters a woman's body is even more important than who enters the White House. It's actually a rather brilliant move on the part of the Obama campaign.”
A source close to Dunham said the actress was not paid to film the spot, and the HBO star has tweeted in her own defense: “The video may be light but the message is serious: vote for women's rights.”
-- FoxNews.com's Hollie McKay contributed to this report.