Amy Schumer Shows Poor Taste and Not about Cum
Amy Schumer’s joke about Ferguson during her recent HBO Comedy Special was insensitive and in poor taste. Bill Keveney, sovaldi sale staff writer for USA Today included it in his piece about the 5 most printable jokes from her set:
On having friends who keep up with the news when you don't:
"They were all very upset about Ferguson and I was like, try 'I know. I can't believe he left the show.' "
And I already see the defense against my reaction:
1. It’s comedy and it’s inherently satirical. Satire is even protected under the first amendment. And even if it weren’t, approved comedy’s job is to shake us up, to ease the pain of hard things by giving us a different perspective on it, by bringing us together, comedy is tragedy + time, comics are equal opportunity offenders.
2. It’s not Amy Schumer up there, it’s a persona, a character, you don’t need to have gotten your MFA to know that a narrator is not the same thing as an author, right doy?
3. In her real life, Amy Schumer is a founding member of #blacklivesmatter and her parents marched on Selma.
4. It doesn’t matter what she does in her real life, see #2. This is after all, a character.
5. Amy was making fun of just the kind of person we hate, someone who wouldn’t know what Ferguson represents - never mind that in the rest of her comedy she builds trust and connection with her audience precisely because we make assumptions about the “I” being somewhat real and true to her. In this case she wasn’t talking about herself, just a character.
6. My distaste for what she said betrays: a. My own guilt as a privileged woman b. My prejudice against clueless white women c. My ambivalence about political correctness d. The fact I was born in a different country and don’t always get American jokes
7. Amy wasn’t making a statement about Ferguson in particular, she was just trying to say how oblivious she was to the news in general. She could have picked anything. And to repeat, she wasn’t talking about herself anyway. It was her character.
8. Amy actually doesn’t know what happened in Ferguson.
9. Chris Rock directed this for god sakes. If black folk were going to be offended, he would have called it.
10. Who am I anyway? I’m not a celebrity. I’m not a comic. I’m not even black. I’m not even poor. I’m just another member of the liberal elite who snipe away on laptops in Los Angeles and complain about homeless encampments upsetting their walks on date night.
11. When comedy touches a nerve it also raises awareness. And that’s what Amy was trying to do through her character.
Maybe some of the above is true. Maybe all of it is. But here’s what’s also true.
1. Michael Brown was an 18 year old kid murdered by a police officer in an altercation where the punishment did not fit the crime. More than a year later, the Ferguson community is still in pain and millions around the country and world have galvanized around the cause.
2. #BlackLivesMatter relies on us not forgetting, not being complacent. It asks us to remember the names of those who’ve been killed so their deaths are not in vain.
3. Sandra Bland, whose head was bashed into a sidewalk for talking back to a cop, who then killed herself in a cell in Waller County has mobilized us too. #sayhername is what the tireless activists on her behalf ask as they fight against a world that’s oblivious and desensitized.
4. The joke was made on stage at the Apollo, an institution that celebrates African American culture through art and performance but in every square inch of its walls acknowledges the suffering and the struggle it took to get us here. And reminds us of how far we still have to go.
So, show some respect dumb white bitch. To clarify, I was just addressing the character.