Amy Schumer to Chris Harrison: don’t call contestant ‘complicated,’ that’s sexist

21st Annual Critics Choice Awards 2016
Spoilers for previously aired episodes of The Bachelor follow
There are two episodes left in The Bachelor this season, starring a software salesman from Indiana named Ben Higgins. I don’t watch this show, but no shame if you do I know a lot of people enjoy it and enjoy talking about it. I hear more about The Bachelor in day-to-day conversation than most shows, but maybe it’s just popular where I live.

Anyway last night was the Women Tell All episode, where the contestants reflect on their experiences on the show. Jubilee Sharpe, 24, a sergeant in the Army Reserves and a war veteran from Florida, got choked up while she was talking to host Chris Harrison. Her entire family died in Haiti, which she referred to on The Women Tell All as her “complicated past” and a “huge obstacle.” She told Higgins about this in the second episode and you can watch her discuss that with him here. Sharpe tried to hold it together on both occasions but it’s obviously a very difficult subject for her. After losing her family in Haiti, Sharpe was adopted as a child by a family in LA.

On The Women Tell All, Sharpe said to Harrison that she knows that she’s “complicated” and then Harrison mirrored her words and expanded on it. (Sharpe was voted off in week five.) You can see their exchange in a video clip on E! and here’s the transcript:

Sharpe: “Ben was everything that I thought he was. You know, he didn’t see me and my complicated past as a huge obstacle”

Harrison: “I know you can’t control how complicated you are. You might be complicated, and I know you stir the pot sometimes, but I hope you realize you’re a pretty special woman, and I really appreciate you coming here and opening up the way you did.”

Ok so Sharpe didn’t call herself complicated, she called her past “complicated,” and it was since she’s the only surviving member of her biological family. Amy Schumer watched that episode and she did not like how Harrison responded to Sharpe. Here’s some of what she tweeted:

At first, before I really watched the show, I assumed Schumer was overreacting but I get her point now. Sharpe called her past complicated because she suffered a terrible loss and had to open up about it to a guy on a reality show. Then Harrison called Sharpe “complicated,” when she’s really just revealing what she went through. Harrison defended himself, also on Twitter, after he saw Schumer’s criticism. Then they agreed to get together and get drunk.

I love how Harrison is 82% sure. Like he’s not 100% sure, and it seems like he took this to heart. He didn’t have an awful response, but he did make this woman’s past seem like a liability and like it was her entire personality, when it was something she went through. It didn’t seem like a big deal and he was nice about it but I get what Amy means.

Spending the day at the museum w/ mom❤️ @moniqueabbett

A photo posted by Jubilee (@jubilee1991) on

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49 Responses to “Amy Schumer to Chris Harrison: don’t call contestant ‘complicated,’ that’s sexist”

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  1. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    A woman lectures on strong women and feminism after watching an episode of The Bachelor. Ok.

  2. stinky says:

    Who would EVER look to that HEINOUS show for anything sensical or teachable?

  3. Nancy says:

    Does anybody else listen to when celebs tell them how to think or say, I sure don’t. I call it as I see it, whether it is now the famous politically correct or my thoughts are in some minds “shaming” someone. We’ve become a society of Stepford Wives. I answer to myself…albeit trying not to hurt anyone along the way.

  4. lovemesseg says:

    Love Amy!

    • JFresh says:

      Me too. She’s addressing the fact that it’s a code word for less kind and some outright unkind ones that the show producers probably know very well are probably going to be thrown her way. And while he wasn’t exactly unempathetic he wasn’t exactly skillful either. But that’s the fault of the producers. They should have gotten him better training about this. But probably they secretly want to destabilize her because we all know how that goes on reality tv.

    • Nancy says:

      She was very funny then started hanging with celebs like Jennifer Lawrence and seemed to be going a little Hollywood. I do like the way she owns her words while others delete or apologize for their unpopular thoughts. But as time goes on and she becomes more famous, she’s more of Someone That I Used To Know…..I do love Goyte!

  5. Beatrice says:

    Calling someone complicated is something to get upset about? Give me a break. I tired of social media outrage.

    • SnarkySnarkers says:

      Bless you! Me freaking too!

    • Jezza says:

      Preach, Beatrice!!!

    • JFresh says:

      It’s a code word or a light way of saying “crazy” or “unstable”. It hints at those concepts without actually saying them. Amy knows this and is aware that labeling women with terms like this goes way back to Freudian days (actually back to the myth of Adam and Eve to some extent) and is an ignorant and dehumanizing practice.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        : )

        When Harry Met Sally:

        Sally: No. But why didn’t he want to marry me? What’s the matter with me?
        Harry: Nothing.
        Sally: I’m difficult.
        Harry: You’re challenging.
        Sally: I’m too structured, I’m completely closed off.
        Harry: But in a good way.

    • Tacos and TV says:

      me too. just stop already. not every single thing someone says is meant to be directed at a certain demographic in a negative way.

    • Belle says:

      A-freakin-men to that!

      There are women (girls!) being forced into marriage, sold into the sex trade, and forced to undergo horrific pain like breast ironing and genital mutilation, but THIS – calling a woman ‘complicated’ in a slightly different context to the way she herself used the word – gets AS upset.

      Get a grip.

  6. SnarkySnarkers says:

    I don’t watch this show but I’ve definitely described men as “complicated” and was not aware it was sexist. Its kind of a nice way to say someone has issues. Nothing wrong with admitting you have issues you might need to work on either. This is really reaching in my opinion Amy. I mean really if you have a bone to pick, shouldn’t it be with the show? A bunch of woman tearing each other apart to compete for a husband? Yeah girl power?

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      +a million.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      Bacically all words that hint that someone has issues or things that have happened in the past are getting banned . Wheather you did not mean it in a bad way or not.

    • Carol says:

      +10000000

      I have to admit, that I have watched a few episodes of the stupid show. And yes, it is totally demeaning to any man or woman who participates in it. But at times I can’t stop watching that stupid car crash. Its sad that this show even exist, and I say that as I watch it with a bag of popcorn. Blah.

      BTW – If I recall correctly, it was Jubilee who claimed she was complicated and said it over and over again. But as @snarkysnarkers said, there is nothing wrong admitting that you might need to work on issues. Everybody does.

  7. She’s the one who said it! He was just commenting on her comment! Geez

  8. bohemianmartini says:

    I can’t believe this show is still on. I have so many co-workers who watch this show and then talk about it at work (while I silently judge and roll my eyes – but to each their own.) I don’t see the issue. Complicated, emotional baggage – I’d use those to describe anybody. Meh.

  9. littlemissnaughty says:

    What? Am I not getting something? I don’t see the problem. So he barely (!) misquoted her and while doing so, said something very nice to her. Huh??? Maybe it’s because I don’t see complicated as an insult and hell yeah, I AM complicated. And I’m using that as a euphemism for “a lot of work” but that’s okay. Really, who isn’t a little bit complicated?

    Am I missing context? From the show I mean.

  10. Mimz says:

    Yeah whatever, I just dont understand why people watch Bachelor and why people sign up for it.
    And I rolled my eyes after seeing that oh again, one more person is “offended” by something someone completely unimportant said. (I’m not saying she’s not right, i’m just tired of the outcry we see everyday).
    The internet is offended! The internet asks for an apology!! The internet needs you to change how you speak.
    how exausting –’

  11. paranormalgirl says:

    I’m complicated. It’s gotten in the “way” of relationships. Those relationships wouldn’t have been worth it anyway. You get me as I am or not at all. It’s not sexist to call someone complicated.

  12. Esther says:

    nothing amy is mad about is about gender.

  13. Neha says:

    I watched the episode and I didn’t have w problem with Chris calling her complicated, but the interview, in general, was off. He kept saying that because a guy as great as Ben liked her, she must not be that bad and all of her insecurities were silly. Which is…not the lesson here. Her insecurities are silly because she’s gorgeous, accomplished, resilient, well-spoken, etc. not because a random guy asked her out on one date.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      I also watched last night, even though I know watching The Bachelor causes me to lose many IQ points. Frankly, I was more appalled at how all the women – NONE of whom are still in the running for Ben anymore (like Jubilee) – seemed to pile on Jubilee and speak to her very harshly about some of her alleged prior statements. When Jubilee did not seem to react to their vitriol with appropriate deference and sufficiently obsequious apologies, it seemed to me that the other women ramped up their attacks. The audience was just as bad. While they seemed to take some of the rejected women to task for things said about other contestants, to me they appeared eerily silent during Jubilee’s segment. Very “Mean Girls” dialed up to 11!

      While I firmly believe there is a statute of limitations on childhood trauma, I sincerely doubt that any of the other women have ever survived anything close to what Jubilee likely endured in Haiti and later in the U.S. after being adopted. She has also done more with her life already than some of these women probably ever will. Regardless, I do not think any of them should act all high and mighty when after all they were taping a reality show that is focused on winning one man over in a month of highly unrealistic dates.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        What does it mean to believe there is a “statute of limitations on childhood trauma?” The statute of limitations is a legal determination, and in the case of child abuse, there’s a big problem in limiting the time period during which someone can bring someone to court for abusive treatment.

        If you mean, “people should get over it and stop talking about it and those of us who didn’t experience childhood trauma get to decide when, why and how because we’re tired of hearing about it,” that’s different.

      • BearcatLawyer says:

        @Who ARE these people? – when I made my original comment about there being a statute of limitations on childhood trauma, what I meant was that people – even severely abused or traumatized people – must eventually take some personal responsibility for how their lives play out and how they evolve as individuals. Yes, people need time (usually many years and often with the help of skilled therapists) to process all the bad things that happened to them. Yes, trauma does forever change people. Yes, some people – like Jubilee – objectively suffer way more than others. But ultimately people have a choice: they can continue to let what happened in their pasts define them/limit them and not deal with the consequences and lingering feelings (e.g., finding it impossible to trust another person) OR they can choose to make better, healthier lives for themselves and refuse to let their traumas hold any more power over them than necessary.

        I was very troubled by the way the women seemed to think Jubilee did not appreciate Ben and did not engage with him or them the way they wanted/expected her to do. The women acted like she should already be over the loss of her family and subsequent international adoption, that she was just making excuses for being “complicated.” I can understand that attitude if Jubilee were 45 and still blaming all her relationship and communication difficulties on her childhood trauma. But IIRC she is only 25 or 26 and still learning how to navigate romantic relationships as well as how to cope with how her past has shaped her thinking and behaviors. I thought her fellow contestants were being unduly harsh, particularly since none of them had probably experienced anything like what she endured.

    • Ctkat1 says:

      YES!! The “complicated” comment didn’t bother me so much (although the show made a huge, HUGE deal about Jubilee being “complicated,” and there’s definitely some coding in that word), but I was offended that Chris Harrison basically said “The Bachelor liked you, Jubilee! This means you ARE worthy of love and are a valuable person, because this one dude decided you were worth keeping around for five weeks.” That was gross.
      Also, she got laid into about making a comment that she was going to be the first “fully black” contestant to make it far on the show- a show that over 31 seasons (20 bachelor, 11 bachelorette) has never had a black or even half-black contestant make it past the first few rounds. I have no issue with her comment, because she knew the show she was on: black women go first, then biracial black women, then depending on the Bachelor, the few other people of color (almost always half Latina or half Asian) go. Jubilee knew that as a black woman, her days were numbered. And part of the “complicated” bull was to cover that the Bachelor wasn’t connecting with her.
      (And I will give him some credit- he did seem legitimately interested in Jubilee, and of his final 3 women, one is half-Filipino and the other half-Persian, so he doesn’t seem to have an issue with racial/ethnic diversity.)

  14. CornyBlue says:

    I am the last person who thinks one woman issue is more important than the other but what in the first world feminism hell is this?

  15. JenniferJustice says:

    God I wish Schumer would just go away for a while. I’m on overload with her lately. She seems to need to insert herself in the most ridiculous non-issues. I dont’ think the host said anything wrong. So he tried to paraphrase what the woman said about herself and it came out not quite the same, but I think Schumer is putting words in his mouth.

    When a person experiences trauma, it changes them forever. It changes their brains and how they view everything. No doubt, this poor woman, regardless of her bravery, acheivements, and wonderful traits, most likely also has trust issues, profound sadness and loneliness that time and even a wonderful adopted family cannot take away. Those are things she fights every day lest she allow them to taker her over and define her whole being. Fighting feelings is complicated and it is a hurdle not only for her but for any partner or potential partner in her life. That isn’t a bad thing, it just is what it is. Schumer needs to get a life and stop making trouble where there isn’t any. And this stupid endless feminist slant she’s always pushing and trying to tarnish others as anti-feminist – is dumb AF! Go away already and find something else to do with your boredom besides constantly being in our faces.

  16. HoustonGrl says:

    “stop yelling at me” is also sexist. When a woman speaks her mind, she is not yelling, a*shole.

  17. Ashley says:

    nah. I watched. That’s just silly. THAT’S the bone she had to pick with the episode? My word.

  18. Who ARE these people? says:

    I know it seems like hair splitting, I really do, but for people who have gone through some kind of trauma, it can be really important to not be defined by that trauma — for example, to be angry about the abuse but not called an “angry person.” Or in this situation, to carefully talk about a complicated “history” not a complicated “personality.” It’s really up to the woman in the show to decide whether his rephrasing bothers her or not, and Schumer might have been picking up on something subtle OR she might have been grandstanding (or both). But I am willing to say there is a difference in perception (by self and by others) in how things are worded, however nuanced it might seem. People have the right to separate their experiences from their personhoods.

    • Izzy says:

      And I think that’s the crux of this particular issue. Jubilee said her past was complicated. Chris Harrison, matchmaker extraordinaire, said SHE was complicated. This woman has accomplished so much despite what she has been through in life. That is resilience, and should be respected, not brushed off or lumped in to be made into the sum total of her existence. THAT is what Amy Schumer was calling out, correctly, IMO.

  19. NeNe says:

    It’s time for this chick to STFU!!! i cannot stand her. She is sooooooooooooo annoying!

  20. Kate says:

    Has Amy even seen this show? Calling a contestant complicated is the LEAST sexist thing that happens.

  21. Coif says:

    Sit down trick!!!

  22. Dizzybenny says:

    Didn’t Amy have something better to do, like looking at other comedians material to steal?

  23. Juniper says:

    The Bachelor is hilarious when you watch while reading the twitter comments. That said, Harrison definitely had an attitude while he was interviewing Jubilee. It was less what he said than attitude–as though he clearly didn’t like her or thought she is a pain in the ass. She deserved more respect.