Amy Schumer seems to have fallen out of grace.
The "Trainwreck" star started her career as a comedian who talked about women's issues in a fun and relatable way. Her show, the Inside Amy Schumer started its fourth season with 770,000 viewers, but ended with only 490,000. What caused us to go from thinking "She's fun!" to a general dislike of the comedian?
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Schumer explained where she thinks this new feeling came from. She said:
"I think if I kept my mouth shut about my real feelings about politics or gun violence, I think, financially, financially and career-wise, it would be, it would be financially better for me, but I don’t care."
But it's not her political views that make Amy Schumer hard to handle. It is her inability to listen to other's views.
This was most obvious in her handling of Gabrielle Union's remarks earlier this year. Gabrielle Union said she wanted to have a conversation with Lena Dunham and Schumer about their "White girl privilege", following their comments about Odell Beckham Jr. at the Met Gala. In a recent interview with Harpers Bazaar, Union, once again, addressed her problem with white female celebrities head on:
" Union has already had one productive conversation with Dunham, she says, and to the other ladies, she has suggested one or more conversations in which she might "help to explain the oppressive systems that have benefited and allowed them to say these careless, insensitive and offensive things.'"
It's how unwilling Schumer seems to be to let others share the mic and teach her something.
Gabrielle Union is still waiting for that conversation. Dunham did in fact go out of her way to have this conversation, showing a willingness to learn. But Schumer has remained quiet.
She not only chose to not address Union's comments but she then produced an offensive parody of Beyonce's 'Formation'.
Why this video was offensive was put best by Spring.St's own Tatiana Silva when she said:
Women should be uplifting one another, and Schumer's use of Beyonce's 'Formation', given the lyrical content, is downright insensitive. For many, the song is as important a celebration of blackness as Black History Month, or the annual West Indian/Caribbean Carnival.
And once again, when called out for her behavior Schumer remained unapologetic.
She released this image:
She followed up with a Medium article in which the closest thing she wrote to an apology was:
"If you watched it and it made you feel anything other than good, please know that was not my intention. The movie we made is fun and the women in it are strong and want to help each other. That’s what it was about for me."
Once again ignoring the issue, ignoring her privilege, and refusing to look at what happened from any other angle but her own.
Schumer has managed to place herself, completely by her own doing, into the center of many conversations about inclusive feminism. By remaining incapable of viewing her messages from a place that is different from where she stands, Schumer continues to be a prime example of what exclusive, tone deaf white feminism looks like.
White feminism is a complicated and a real issue which is hard to unpack in one article. But, simply put, 'White Feminism' is generally viewed as not inclusive. Many white women seem unable to understand the extra hurdles and barriers women of color face. But as FEM magazine argues:
"There is nothing wrong with a woman’s inability to relate to the unique combinations of oppression faced by other women. However, there is something wrong with not paying attention to these injustices faced by other women."
That does seem to be Schumer's problem.
With the election of Donald Trump, white feminism needs to be discussed now more than ever. 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump, compared to six percent of women of color. That's a staggering difference and should be taken seriously. The success of Trump's campaign creates greater threats for women from marginalized groups than it does for white women. And the results show women are not a united front.
Whiteness should not be held above gender equality. And when women aren't willing to address the problems other women are facing in an open and honest way, there is no way we can learn and grow from each other.
It is completely fair that many seem to be unable to tolerate Amy Schumer any longer. It's hard to have a conversation with a person who will not listen. Until she makes room for everyone, a lot of people won't want to sit at her table.