One of my comedy heroines just tweeted a sarcastic quip about The Representation Project's #AskHerMore campaign, which aims to change the way women are spoken to on awards show red carpets just in time for the Oscars. Normally, I'd just brush it off as a joke — I get where she's coming from and I can't get mad at a comedian for being a comedian. The problem is that #AskHerMore represents one of those problems that seems frilly and nonessential (celebs talking on red carpets), while representing a much larger problem that creates the standard for red carpet conversations. So yes, Amy Schumer's sarcastic #AskHerMore tweet undermines the cause. Update: Schumer responded on Twitter (see below).
Before I get too deep into anything here, let me just say that I am huge fan of comedy and an especially big fan of Amy Schumer. I know that there are already a few of you trying to assert that I just "didn't get" Schumer's joke (below), but I do get it, and that doesn't mean I have to like it. And that is exactly why I was so disappointed to see that someone who is doing such great things for more realistic and better representation of women with her show Inside Amy Schumer do something to so quickly undermine the uphill battle that #AskHerMore faces.
Schumer responded Monday morning:
And to be clear, I don't doubt Schumer's support of feminism and the cause in general (hello, the discussion supports her work too), but when getting Oscar fans to take #AskHerMore seriously, I personally don't agree with joking about it.
Earlier: Disagree with me all you want, but I just can't back this. The problem with red carpet conversation was and to some extent continues to be that reporters are constantly more focused on women's bodies, clothes, and superficial qualities. Part of this is likely due to the fact that men all show up in tuxedos and leave very little to converse about, but with the addition of things like the Mani Cam and the Clutch Cam, it's clear that the entire focus of the pre-show interviews is the way women look.
Sure, men get asked more interesting questions by default and sure, we don't really need to see any of the red carpet stuff (most of these questions are such softballs whether they're aimed at men or women anyway), but if we're all tuning in (and oh boy, are we) it shouldn't be much to ask to ask that we see Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic try a little harder with these questions and ask all these talented actresses about the work that they do. It's not about taking that conversation away from men; it's about extending it to women in a way that the conversation never has been. Yes, many of them are gorgeous, but spoiler: they're also damn talented and they work incredibly hard. I don't think asking that red carpet reporters respect that is a joke at all.