Amy Schumer has been heralded as one of the highest-paid comedians and one of America’s favorite comedians. Schumer has also become one of the most problematic as well, having come under fire numerous times for racially insensitive jokes and remarks in her specials, interviews, and even on her social media.
For the most part, comedians display their truths in their stories while laced with jokes. Some remarks, however, still can offend and harm a group of people, which Schumer may be accustomed to at this point. Specifically, the comedian has targeted men of color in her various spiels.
Examples of Schumer’s comments in her stand-up where she has come under fire include “Nothing works 100 percent of the time, except Mexicans,” “I used to date Hispanic guys, but now I prefer consensual,” and also “I think they would be mad if I brought home an Asian guy. Just out of confusion. They would just be like, ‘I don’t understand. Do you really want to f—k this guy?’” These just scratch the surface of some of the controversial moments that the comedian has displayed.
Perhaps the moment where she participated in an interview with actress and close friend Lena Dunham for the latter’s once newsletter Lenny’s Letter that she said some pretty frustrating remarks really set things off. The Trainwreck actress addressed the controversy surrounding one of her writers for her show Inside Amy Schumer Kurt Metzger’s disturbing statements about rape culture and rape survivors.
“What exactly is a ‘rape apologist’”, Metzger wrote in a Facebook post while saying it was his pleasure to upset everyone, and proclaiming how proud he was to be what he is questioning. “Don’t f—g complain about the police not helping if you didn’t bother going to the police at all. “Why aren’t the rape kits being tested??” Because instead of actually educating women with useful information on what to do if they are victimized, you blather nonsense about “culture” and then tell them being weak is being strong.” He continued on with his version of harsh criticism on the matter.
She had previously tweeted that she was “saddened and disappointed” by what he said and also made claims that he had been fired from the show. “He is my friend and a great writer and I couldn’t be more against his recent actions,” she tweeted. When asked about the controversy with Dunham, she had this to say: “First I was like, f—k Kurt. It’s been years that he’s been doing this. He’s one of those guys, like a lot of the guys that I’m friends with, who are degenerates. Kurt was saying this awful stuff, and in previous years, I would be like, ‘You’ve got to shut up.’ He’d be like, ‘All right.’ Then it would kind of go away. This time, it was just so bad.”
Fans began to notice her remarks suggesting that she had known of his beliefs and actions for a long time but continued to employ his despite his stance, figuring that his talent outshines his character. She then continued saying, “But also, why are these women treating him like he raped someone? He’s not Bill Cosby; Kurt has never raped. What he was saying was horrific, and he was being a troll. He can be an Internet troll,” she said to Dunham. “The fact that I had to answer for it … I was like, ‘Ugh, why this week?’ I was like if there’s scandals, can’t they be about me?'”
The backlash began to trickle in for the two actresses for different reasons, as Dunham had also said controversial remarks in regards to an incident she (thought she) had with NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. In the midst of being slammed, Dunham took accountability for her actions and issued an apology for her remarks, but the same could not be said for Schumer. The comedian/actress found herself in more hot water within the same time of the interview when she responded to an economics professor at the New School in New York City when he made comments addressing their interview.
“Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, et. al. refuse 2C that misogyny among men of color, while hideously prevalent, is no more so than among white men,” he wrote, to which Schumer replied, “how would you know? Statistically who is hollerin at you in the street more pa?”
Schumer swiftly deleted the tweet in what may have been a moment where her emotions got the best of her, but nothing is faster than social media. Twitter users who viewed the tweet within enough time before she chose to erase it beat her to the punch and shared it, pushing it viral across various platforms.
In the attempts to quell the emotions of her fans and supporters, and critics alike, Schumer tried her best to explain herself through a span of tweets. “I used to do a lot of short dumb jokes like this. I played a dumb white girl onstage,” the comedian responded. “I still do sometimes. Once I realized I had more eyes and ears on me and had an influence I stopped telling jokes like that onstage.” She added that she was evolving as an artist and apologized for offending anyone if she had.
Schumer then shared a lengthy post on her social media to address that her jokes are “truly racist” while passing it off as simply being a comedian. “Put down your torches before reading this so you don’t catch on fire,” she captioned the post. She attempts to explain her role as a comedian, and that part of her job is to “make dumb jokes involving race.”
Put down your torches before reading this so you don’t catch on fire. pic.twitter.com/JyRQGvFuX8— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) June 28, 2015
“You can call it a ‘blind spot for racism’ or ‘lazy’ but you are wrong. It is a joke and it is funny. I know because people laugh at it,” she said it her post. One thing’s for sure… Schumer walks a fine line and privilege may take you but so far, as she is learning that inflammatory words may come back to bite in the future.