Amy Schumer Responds To Criticism Of That Controversial Joke & Her Point Is A Valid One
If you think it’s tough being a woman, I’m pretty sure it’s even tougher being a woman at the top. Take Amy Schumer, for example, who responded to critics of her comedy in a recent interview with Vanity Fair by pointing out how being torn apart is unfortunately part of the process for women in the media. But that’s not to say that Schumer is completely innocent, and she owns up to that. The joke that had people up in arms in July 2015 was one that Amy Schumer made about Hispanic men. In it, which she reportedly wrote in 2013, Schumer cracked, “I used to date Hispanic guys, but now I prefer consensual.” The joke had a number of critics up in arms, and, when Schumer opened up about the backlash she experienced as a result of that joke, the point she makes about what happens to women once they’re at the top is spot on.
In the interview, Amy Schumer reveals to Vanity Fair that she thinks the level of outrage about the joke was “selective outrage.” She admits that in the past she’s made plenty of jokes about black guys, white guys, AIDS, and Hispanics in the past. “Those were OK?” she asks in the interview. And while I don’t entirely agree with what she has to say in defense of her comedy (I hear you, Schumer, but that doesn’t give you a pass on making racist jokes), she continued to point out what she thinks is really at the heart of this pushback against her comedy: “I was just kind of like, I’m a comic. Like, can we just skip this thing where I become famous and then you guys look to burn me at the stake for something? Is there any way we can skip that?”
What happens to women when they get to the top? They’re all the more likely to get torn down, and Schumer’s comments point that out. It’s sort of a guaranteed, the way she describes it and wishes to skip it altogether, and that’s a real shame.
But I guess with a bigger platform comes bigger responsibilities. Schumer is the first person to own that. After all, this isn’t the first time that the comedian has responded to the critics. In July 2015, when the outrage erupted, the comedian tweeted a screen shot of a note she had written in response to the controversy. In that tweet she said that she "wrote this joke 2 years ago.” In addition, she admitted that she “used to do a lot of short dumb jokes like this,” but added that she has since changed her comedic tone: “Once I realized I had more eyes and ears on me and had an influence I stopped telling jokes like that on stage. I am evolving as any artist. I am taking responsibility and hope I haven’t hurt anyone. And I apologize if I did [sic].”
Given that the comedian has long since taken ownership of this offensive joke, I think the point she makes about why her critics were so insistent about tearing her down is one worth talking about.