Comedian Amy Schumer is “taking responsibility” for a joke she made on her Comedy Central show that has come under scrutiny in recent weeks.
It all started when the “Trainwreck” star was taken to task in an article in The Guardian. While acknowledging that Schumer is enjoying a “moment” as a leading feminist voice in comedy, writer Monica Heisey argued that Schumer has a “blind spot” on the subject of race. Heisey then cited some of Schumer’s off-color jokes, including one where she quipped: ”I used to date Hispanic guys, but now I prefer consensual.”
After initially pushing back on the criticism, arguing that making people uncomfortable is part of her as a comic, Schumer was more contrite in a Twitter exchange with a fan on Monday. When confronted about her joke regarding Latino men, Schumer said the line was meant to be in the voice of “dumb white girl” persona she likes to occasionally adopt on stage.
She added: “Once I realized I had more eyes and ears on me and had an influence I stopped telling jokes like that onstage, I am evolving as any artist. I am taking responsibility and I hope I haven’t hurt anyone. And I apologize if I did.”
This isn’t the first time Schumer has rubbed some viewers the wrong way with her politically incorrect barbs about people of color. When she hosted the MTV Movie Awards in April, Schumer was criticized for joking that the film “Gone Girl” was “the story of what one crazed white woman, or all Latinas, do if you cheat on them.” The line provoked a reaction shot of Latina singer and actress Jennifer Lopez’s apoplectic response.
In a July 6 column for The Washington Post, writers Stacey Patton and David J. Leonard argued that Schumer “used her stage to play and profit off race while people of color are bearing the brunt of racial violence,” while linking her comments to the controversial rhetoric of 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump and the massacre of nine African-Americans at a predominately black church in Charleston, South Carolina last month.
Still, Schumer has also been widely praised for a series of incisive recent sketches tackling controversial topics like sexual assaults by college athletes, sexism and ageism in Hollywood and the allegations swirling around Bill Cosby.
She told “CBS This Morning” correspondent Mo Rocca during a July 5 interview that she doesn’t shy away from the feminist label. “If I’m preaching for women’s equality, then sign me up,” she said. “It’s so crazy that people don’t identify as feminists. I think it’s only people that don’t know the definition.”
In that same interview she acknowledged that a lot of her humor comes from a position of self-parody. “Definitely more than anyone, it’s white women in their 20s and 30s, just [believing] the universe is thinking about you,” she said.