Everybody has that one celebrity that really grinds their gears. For me, for a long time, it was Jimmy Carr—I literally couldn’t stand the man. As for my dad, it’s always been Mark Wahlberg. And now, for the majority of the internet, it’s Amy Schumer.
While I wouldn’t say that I’ve followed Schumer’s career closely, I’ve definitely consumed a lot of her content over the years. And in all honesty, I never used to have a problem with her. Actually, there was probably a time when I watched her film I Feel Pretty and legitimately enjoyed myself. I liked experiencing women in comedy pursue the balls-to-the-wall raunchy shit, it was feminism on screen. But then, her whole vibe just shifted.
Schumer went from someone that people fanned over to someone who people deliberately blocked on Twitter and Instagram. And, more importantly, her cancellation has involved a series of chapters, each one further cementing her residence in the land of dumb celebrities who shouldn’t have access to their own social media accounts, or indeed a microphone. Let’s delve into those chapters together.
Before we look into this one, I want to preface by saying that these accusations are no way near as problematic as what we’ll later explore. However, it’s a journey people and we have to mention all the roads that led to this point.
Schumer’s been accused of copying people’s jokes a ton of times. Notably, in 2014 the comedian was suspected of taking material directly from a 2011 stand-up performance by Kathleen Madigan. And okay, a one-time thing is probably a coincidence. But then again in 2015, Schumer was caught stealing an identical line from a 1999 show by Wendy Liebman.
Schumer has categorically denied ever stealing jokes, stating on the radio show The Jim Norton Advice Show in 2016: “I’m so careful… I would never do that, it would be so stupid for me to do that.”
One of life’s most common occurrences is watching a white comedian make a blatantly racist joke, and then respond to criticism of said joke by stating something along the lines of ‘you can’t say anything these days!’ It’s literally a routine we’ve all gotten accustomed to at this point. Schumer was, of course, no different.
After being called out for making a series of racially insensitive jokes, including allegedly saying in a stand-up routine: “I used to date Latino guys. Now I prefer consensual,” the comedian retorted by claiming in a now-deleted Twitter post: “It is a joke and it is funny. I know that because people laugh at it. Trust me. I am not a racist.”
Next up, we have perhaps one of the classiest things Schumer has ever done—emphasis on the sarcasm here.
In October 2021, while on the set of the upcoming film Rust, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot and director Joel Souza was injured when a live round was discharged from a revolver used as a prop by Alec Baldwin, who was acting in the film.
The entire ordeal was incredibly traumatising for Hutchins’ family, and Baldwin later faced criminal charges. While these were dropped in February 2023, it was reported in October that prosecutors would ask a grand jury to determine whether he should again be criminally charged in the death.
Schumer, who co-hosted the 2022 Oscars with Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes, told the audience that she was not allowed to make jokes about the Rust shooting during the awards show. A week later, during a stand-up gig, Schumer claimed: “I want to preface these Oscar jokes by saying that my lawyer said not to say these. Don’t tell anybody and don’t get mad at me. Don’t Look Up is the name of a movie? More like don’t look down the barrel of Alec Baldwin’s shotgun.”
I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to see that there are some jokes you simply do not make.
Finally, we come to Schumer’s most recent controversy. During the past few weeks, celebrities have been sharing statements on social media regarding their thoughts on the ongoing conflict happening in Israel and Palestine right now. The primary topics of conversation have been in regard to the condemnation of violence from all parties, but especially in respect of Israel’s horrendous ground and air attacks on Palestinian civilians. Moreover, important conversations are being had about combatting the increase in Islamophobia and anti-semitism that’s occurring across the globe.
Schumer, who has a Jewish heritage and was raised in the religion, has been very public online about Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas and has subsequently faced serious backlash. While the complete condemnation of Hamas is both legitimate and necessary, a number of individuals online are criticising Schumer for not condemning the actions of Israel to almost entirely wipe out the Palestinian people with violence.
In one post, Schumer shared a video clip of Martin Luther King Jr. denouncing anti-semitism and defending Israel’s right to exist. In response, the civil rights leader’s daughter Bernice King took to social media to clarify that her father would have backed a ceasefire if he were alive today:
Addressing Schumer directly, King wrote: “Certainly, my father was against antisemitism, as am I. He also believed militarism (along with racism and poverty) to be among the interconnected Triple Evils. I am certain he would call for Israel’s bombing of Palestinians to cease, for hostages to be released and for us to work for true peace, which includes justice.”
Moreover, Schumer also posted a now-deleted Instagram post, which was reshared on Reddit, showing an animated image of people holding signs, one of which read “Gazans rape Jewish girls only in self-defence.”
Twitter users have, as they always do, taken hold of these highly offensive posts and circulated them online, resulting in Schumer’s name trending at a pretty insane rate. The emotion and hurt that is intrinsically connected to this conflict are spilling into every facet of our virtual lives, and the recent Schumer cancellation is a clear symptom of this.