Content warning: This article contains mention of sexual assault.
Upon the release of Amy Schumer’s fifth stand-up comedy special, Emergency Contact, her fans can’t help but wonder why people hate Amy Schumer. With every bit of news surrounding the comedian, there’s always a slew of people ready to hate on her on social media. Of course, we don’t condone this hate, but we are curious about its origins.
Every comedian can easily get “canceled” or face fan hate due to the nature of the job. So naturally, when Amy’s 2023 Netflix special was released alongside the news that she turned down the role of Barbie in Barbie, the masses came crawling out once again to vilify her. So, why do people hate Amy Schumer?
People hate Amy Schumer because of various statements she’s made throughout her comedy career.
Comedians are tasked with saying controversial things — some might find those things funny, and others might not. No one can be everyone’s favorite comedian; trying to appeal to everyone means giving up some aspect of your values or opinions. Amy clearly has no interest in that. She always says what she wants when she wants. Because of that, however, she’s garnered some hate throughout her decade-long career.
She’s often touted herself as a feminist and is very sex-positive, but she has also torn down other women. In Emergency Contact, Amy made a jab at Hilaria Baldwin for pretending to be Spanish. In her 2015 SNL monologue, she said the Kardashians were “bad role models.” But she often responds to these anti-feminist allegations by sharing that everything she says, she says in jest. She is a comedian, so we can’t deny that.
However, she’s also tried to make jokes about race in her sketch show, Inside Amy Schumer, and her stand-up comedy. And when the famous Will Smith slap occurred, she said she was “traumatized” and “triggered.” Many POC called her out as a white woman for saying a slap, in which she wasn’t involved, between two Black men “triggered” her.
On the other hand, any comedian could feel some sense of fear because the slap set a precedent. Now, if a comedian says something an audience member doesn’t like, they can physically assault the comic.
Other people hate Amy because of her self-admitted sexual assault.
Amy is happily married now, but that hasn’t stopped her from discussing her wild days of dating in the past. At the 2014 Gloria Awards, Amy accidentally admitted to sexually assaulting a male friend while in college.
In her speech about confidence, she shared how she was really into a guy named Matt in college. He was the only man who paid her any attention, which made her feel validated and sexy, despite not feeling attractive compared to the other women at her college. When he drunk-dialed her at 8 a.m., she immediately took the opportunity to show up at his dorm room and have sex with him.
Throughout the story, she talks about how he was falling asleep, although she also mentions how he tried to go down on her. Yes, in today’s world, this would easily be an instance of sexual assault on Amy’s part — it’s impossible to get consent from someone as inebriated as Matt was. When she was a freshman in college, she may not have known that. Even still, that doesn’t excuse her behavior. And it’s made even worse by a second self-admitted allegation.
In a 2012 podcast appearance on the Opie & Anthony Show, Amy shares how she “let” a cab driver finger her. She was 18 years old at the time of the incident, just after her freshman year of college. The male hosts were very excited by the story as Amy explained how she moved the cab driver’s hand to her vagina, and he made her orgasm. When she (and her friend, who was sleeping in the back) got out of the cab, the driver asked where they were going out, but Amy just paid and left.
She felt immediate guilt and disgust with herself and even told her mom about the incident the next day. Does that make what happened okay? Definitely not. At the same time, the hosts were egging her on, making it sound like she was a sexy hero, and Amy was forced to laugh off some of the uncomfortable things the hosts said. Being a woman in comedy can often mean giving into the male gaze so they’ll actually listen.
Much of this probably stems from Amy’s self-admitted struggle with body image and confidence. By harnessing her sexual energy, she felt attractive. Now, we know that this is unhealthy and that it’s not okay to hurt others to gain self-confidence. Amy has shared how she saw herself through the male gaze, which is very clear in her film, I Feel Pretty. By doing so, she has also unintentionally fat-shamed women who may have looked up to her.
Many people just hate Amy Schumer because they don’t think she’s funny.
“Hate” is a strong word, and it’s more likely that plenty of people dislike Amy Schumer’s comedy but know little about the comedian herself. Some people think she talks too much about her vagina, and many men often say she’s just not funny — not because she’s a woman, but just because she only talks about sex (which isn’t actually true).
Even still, allegations of joke stealing have run rampant alongside Amy’s controversial career. This is what first led many women to also dislike Amy. Several of those allegations, however, are about Amy’s sketch show, which has a team of writers. In addition, many jokes come from similar premises, so there are often similarities between the jokes and concepts in comedy, which makes joke theft challenging to prove.
Regardless of all the reasons to hate Amy, there’s still enough love for her to warrant a new Netflix special.
Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact is now streaming on Netflix.