If it hadn’t been for one implosive misogynist, the internet’s banners would have been about how victorious a moment Amy Schumer was having. The standup’s new memoir, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, is a bright title in the fertile territory of comedians penning novels. It’s impressive, not only for how Schumer translates her humor into prose, but for its candor on serious subjects – which might be part of what troubles some people regarding her reaction to a growing controversy.
This week saw the circulation of social media posts by Inside Amy Schumer writer Kurt Metzger, writing a defense pseudo-logical, fallacy-a-ganza on the sexual assault allegations against New York-based comedian Aaron Glaser. Metzger’s response, which we’ll share here due to its insensitivity, is winner for the most orifice-rotting Facebook post you’ll read all month (if humanity keeps itself in check). His tone is vile, vitriolic, and victim-blaming. His arguments overflow with suspicion against women who speak up against assault, an action that takes bravery that is startlingly discounted by those who have never experienced it. Another comedian, Nikki Black, breaks it down precisely as it needs to be: Metzger “takes the fear female comedians experience on a daily basis and turn[s] it into hateful vomit”.
This is the bar that was set for Amy Schumer.
While the individuals at this scandal’s core are already two degrees away from Schumer to begin with, it’s an issue Schumer has come to represent for people. She wrote about her own experience with sexual assault in her book and hasn’t shied away from speaking about a topic this intimate, complex, nuanced and often without a clear resolution. So when given the opportunity to comment, this was Schumer’s lead:
For someone that’s built a brand on never mincing words or holding punches, “disappointed” feels like tepid chastising for a person who is credited for writing on 39 Inside Amy Schumer episodes. We’re constantly reminded this year that waving one’s hands in frustration and saying “I disavow, okay?” isn’t getting to the root of people’s frustrations. Twitter’s response to her watered down remark was so consistent that eventually, Schumer had enough and closed the floor for questioning:
…which looks worse when you see that many women who were demanding a stronger rebuke were blocked by Schumer on Twitter:
Instead of coming down harder on her friend for something that is line-by-line what she eviscerates in the show that he also wrote for, her response came off as bedraggled and unfairly restrained. It’s a similar situation to when she was accused of plagiarism earlier this year: how she was approached about the subject was graceless, but not unfounded. And her own reply was not the last word on the subject that supporters of her might’ve hoped. In this case, Variety critic Maureen Ryan put it best: “Schumer did not come up with a statement that made it clear that she picks women over Metzger. She tried not to make a choice, but evasion can speak volumes.”
UPDATE: A portion Schumer’s interview with Charlie Rose, which addresses Metzger and the larger issue of rape, has been released on YouTube. She addresses her frustrations with the scandal (“I’ve asked him, ‘can you just stop?’, because it comes back to me”) and why she believes responding to Metzger’s “trolling” is distracting (“He’s the problem, no question, but the focus is on him and not what the real main problem is”). Watch the full clip below:
Featured image courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.