Justice

What Amy Schumer Has To Say About Being Called Racist

June 29th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Now is an amazing time to be Amy Schumer, whose hilarious Comedy Central sketch show, "Inside Amy Schumer," has been picked up for another season and makes headlines every time a new episode airs. She famously photobombed Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the 2015 TIME 100 party, where she was honored for being one of the most influential people of the year

It's been a great year for Schumer, but all the increased attention and recognition for her work comes at a cost. Monica Heisey of The Guardian recently took Schumer to task for joking about race, quoting The Daily Dot's Anne Thériault who recently wrote, “Amy Schumer frequently makes jokes that perpetuate stereotypes rather than dismantle them … It’s hard not to feel like Schumer is only here for women who look like her.”

Heisey highlighted Schumer's feminist messages in her comedy, "most notably in '12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer,' an episode-long sketch in which Paul Giamatti, Jeff Goldblum and others debate whether or not she’s 'hot enough to be on TV,'" but said Schumer's jokes could be more evolved and socially responsible with regards to race.

"For such a keen observer of social norms and an effective satirist of the ways gender is complicated by them, Schumer has a shockingly large blind spot around race," Heisey writes. "Her lacklustre stint hosting the MTV Movie awards (a rare misstep) featured lazy jokes about Latina women being 'crazy' that left Jennifer Lopez ... unimpressed ... Schumer’s stand-up repeatedly delves into racial territory tactlessly and with no apparent larger point. Her standup special features jokes like 'Nothing works 100% of the time, except Mexicans' and much of her character’s dumb slut persona is predicated on the fact that the men she sleeps with are people of colour. 'I used to date Latino guys,' she says in an older stand-up routine. 'Now I prefer consensual.'"

Schumer responded to these claims by clarifying on Twitter that she hasn't broached the subject of race in her standup in a long time:

Schumer also defended the comedy she's done in the past, saying she doesn't want to water her material down for the sake of political correctness or to make everyone happy:

Her full statement is here:

This comes a few weeks after Jerry Seinfeld said in a radio interview with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd that our PC culture is ruining comedy and that he doesn't perform at colleges anymore because the age group is hypersensitive.

"I don't play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me 'don't go near colleges, they're so PC,'" Seinfeld said. "I'll give you an example. My daughter is 14. My wife says to [her], ‘Well, you know, in the next couple of years, I think you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.’ And you know what my daughter says? She says ‘that’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words. 'That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what the [bleep] they’re talking about.”

Seinfeld added that comedian Louis C.K. is wonderful because he is unaffected by some of the criticism he's gotten for his raunchy acts. Earlier this year, C.K. was widely criticized for making a joke about pedophilia during "Saturday Night Live," but did not apologize for his poorly received joke.

"Louis's great gift is that he doesn’t worry, he just does his thing," Seinfeld said. "If I wanted to say something, I would say it. Everybody has their hot zone ... and that's the jokes you do."