Justice

Why Amy Schumer Had a Change of Heart On Race Jokes

July 6th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Comedian Amy Schumer came under fire for joking about race on her Comedy Central show last week, with the "Trainwreck" star arguing that she will never dilute her jokes for the sake of political correctness.

Schumer posted this tweet after Monica Heisey of The Guardian commented that Schumer is amazing at highlighting the often brutal sexism women experience in the world, yet not so aware when it comes to race. While Schumer famously illustrated the objectification of women in her lauded sketch "12 Angry Men," her previous quips about Latinos left Heisey unimpressed.

"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 wrote. "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.'"

Though Schumer initially seemed defensive about these claims, she wrote in a tweet on Monday that she is sorry if she hurt anyone and “taking responsibility” for her words, saying she is growing as a comic and cognizant of the fact that she's gaining more traction now:

After ATTN: wrote about Schumer's initial reaction to her commentary on race, we received some interesting tweets from fellow women comedians, with UCB's Akilah Hughes pointing out that Schumer's heavier female shtick does not give her the right to mock race in the name of comedy:

Much of Schumer's sketches on hit show "Inside Amy Schumer" depict sexist treatment of women in society. In "12 Angry Men," a group of guys spends an entire episode debating whether she is "hot enough" to appear on television.

In "Last Fuckable Day," several highly successful actresses describe how Hollywood chews up and spits out women once they reach a certain age: