Amy Schumer: ‘I’m disgusted with some of my old material,’ I had ‘so much undoing to do’

Amy Schumer covers the latest issue of the Hollywood Reporter. At first, I completely blanked on the fact that she’s one of this year’s Oscars cohosts and I was like “oh, she’s probably got some new project.” She has several new projects, she wants to get back to doing stand-up in stadiums, and she’s got the Oscars gig. She’s also got a baby and she talks about wanting another one. I’ll be honest, I got very tired of Amy for several years, but she’s a great example of someone who makes some very big, dumb public mistakes and actually goes away and works on her problematic sh-t and comes back a better person. Do I completely stan her now? Not really, but I don’t actively dislike her and I do find her really interesting in this interview. Some highlights:

In 2020, she told victims she was there to listen. She posted a phone number from an app that allows anyone to send her texts. Soon, Schumer’s inbox was so flooded with #MeToo tales that she began reaching out to other famous women about trying to set up some sort of a help line. When that plan didn’t pan out, she started gathering victims — four from this guy; three from that one — and passing them along to lawyers, counselors and even the press.

On male comedian predators: “It’s all been really sad and disappointing. And I don’t think that the coercion and the taking advantage and the masturbating in front of people is cool, and I don’t think that those guys should be allowed to come back…And the male comics are mad at you and mean to you and it doesn’t feel good when those were your friends, but also f–k them.”

On the backlash against her: “It’s like, who gets the most hate? LeBron James? Tom Brady? It’s people at the top of their game,” she says, acknowledging that comparing herself to either athlete will only infuriate her haters more. Besides, she reserves the harshest criticism for herself, and there’s plenty in her past that makes her cringe. “I’m disgusted with some of my old material,” she says, citing one joke in particular about Black people not being able to swim. It was after reading Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste that she better understood its racist roots. She has “so much undoing to do,” she admits, and she’s been busy educating herself to be a better ally — a process that entailed participating in Black Lives Matter vigils and workshops every day for six months following the murder of George Floyd.

Why she really dropped out of the Barbie movie: “They definitely didn’t want to do it the way I wanted to do it, the only way I was interested in doing it,” she says now. Just how far apart their visions of imperfection were — Schumer had written Barbie as an ambitious inventor; the studio asked that her invention be a high heel made of Jell-O — should have been apparent when she was sent a pair of Manolo Blahniks to celebrate. “The idea that that’s just what every woman must want, right there, I should have gone, ‘You’ve got the wrong gal.’ ” Greta Gerwig is now writing and directing the movie, and Margot Robbie is set to star.

This is a fantastic pitch: The film, which she intends to direct and star in, is inspired by Schumer’s own girlfriends, a tight-knit crew that dates back to high school, and her love of The Bachelor franchise. “I’m always watching that show imagining, like, ‘What if I was just f–king on there, just my body, in a bikini, next to the rest of the girls,’ ” she says. So, it’s about “this sh-tty lawyer, me, who fights this claim for her client who was fired because of ageism and then uses that to get her and her friends on The Bachelor.”

She wants to get back on the world’s biggest stages. “I’m not Chappelle or these comics who I guess have more integrity than me, who are like, ‘I’d rather do five shows [in more intimate venues].’ I’m like, ‘I want to go where the hockey team plays.’”

[From THR]

The thing about her criticism of comedian-predators is that she was always really good on that issue specifically. The biggest issues were around her racism and her blindness to her own privilege. But every time one of “her bros” in the comedy world was outed as a predator, Amy was always first in line to stand with the victims. I’m pleased that she committed herself to doing the work to understand her privilege and “unlearn” a lot of sh-t, because holy sh-t, so much of that part of her comedy was beyond “cringe.” Also, I f–king love that pitch about a bunch of real (realistic) women scamming their way onto the Bachelor.

Cover & IG courtesy of THR.

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15 Responses to “Amy Schumer: ‘I’m disgusted with some of my old material,’ I had ‘so much undoing to do’”

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  1. tanesha86 says:

    I mean it’s great that she’s doing the work to dismantle her racism but I personally am not interested in her personal journey. She said a lot of truly heinous things about Black people and I just can’t get over it

    • girl_ninja says:

      This. All this.

    • Emma says:

      Yes. And this is not even really an apology. She’s so weirdly overrated anyway.

      White women — you don’t get to forgive her on behalf of Black people so please don’t start with that.

  2. Stef says:

    Glad to see she’s working on herself and aware some of her old material is cringe. I’ve always liked her and enjoyed most of her projects but I’ve grown to love her as she evolves as a comic, a woman, mother, wife, and artist. The cooking show she did with her husband during the first year if the pandemic sealed it for me.

  3. girl_ninja says:

    She and Lena Dunham disregarded what black women said about how Lena victimized Odel Beckham. I still like Amy and think she’s gotta do what she’s gotta do to keep her career going so ce la vie I suppose.

  4. Grace says:

    I do not like her.

  5. SnarcasmQueen says:

    I don’t remember the racist jokes. I do remember the ones that were so disparaging about her sexual encounters that I skipped her on the comedy station all of the time, her and Aziz Ansari have that similar kind of, let’s just say the most vulgar things in the most vulgar way and that will make it funny, right?

    But their set up and delivery of those jokes is awkward and uncomfortable and I hate it.

    • Zackster says:

      It was her bit about how bad our vaginas smell & men are champs for dealing with it, that turned me off on her 😧

      • SnarcasmQueen says:

        Yes. There was very much a woman suck to date, amiright, vibe that was happening there.

  6. Jules says:

    A Barbie movie just sounds like a bad idea, no matter how it’s pitched.

  7. Mle428 says:

    When I was 6 months pregnant they were doing a Bachelor casting call in my area (I live in Southern California so, really, when isn’t there a casting call nearby). My husband and I joked that I should try out. Talk about drama! Married, about to give birth, and looking for my true love on The Bachelor? Haha

  8. HME says:

    Ugh…I still can’t with her. I actually didn’t know she had a history of racist jokes (I couldn’t even get through 5 minutes of her standup special on Netflix) but its not surprising. And yes my eyes are rolling out of my head at her comparing herself to LeBron James. Good lord, sit DOWN.

    And I’d love to know what the hell she was expecting from a movie about Barbie and what the hell the producers of the Barbie movie were expecting from her…talk about a mismatch.

  9. Sophia says:

    I’ve NEVER liked her stand up, but I liked her movies. I also really liked her documentary – that woman is a fricken superhuman to continue doing shows while throwing up 20 times a day. I think she is a human being who is trying to learn and grow and so I will at least give her credit for that.

    I regard to Aziz Ansari’s stand up – you have to watch his last two specials because they are quite different, they are toned down and thoughtful. The most recent one is hilarious and only half an hour long.

  10. Woo woo says:

    Pretty sure she was the one who made racist jokes about Angelina Julie’s kids too.

    That’s great she’s on a journey but it doesn’t mean I’m interested.

  11. Cup of tea says:

    Wait. So the racism was HER jokes, and the rest of her material was stolen from other comics for years and years? Wow… Sure sounds like a defensible career. *sip