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Why We Stopped Loving Amy Schumer

Has any celebrity gone from ‘Hey, she’s fun!’ to ‘Ughhhhhhhh’ more quickly than Amy Schumer?


Life is pretty good for comedian Amy Schumer. She’s pitching light beer and discount clothing — nonstop, if the recent Olympics advertising blitz was any indication. She had an HBO comedy special. Her movie “Trainwreck,” about a woman who puts aside drinking and sleeping around for a stable relationship, was a hit. Her “Inside Amy Schumer” show did well enough for four seasons. She has a new book out, and it’s sitting on top of The New York Times bestseller list.

Despite this, Schumer’s days as comedy’s “It Girl” are over. Has any celebrity gone from “Hey, she’s fun!” to “Ughhhhhhhh” more quickly than Amy Schumer?

Even she is acknowledging this. She recently told an interviewer:

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.

Yes, her decision to stop being funny and to begin repeating the same progressive talking points shared by everyone else in Hollywood is questionable. I’m not sure it’s hurting her financially, but it is hurting her reputation as an edgy comic.

Her fourth season of “Inside Amy Schumer” was so politically shrill and unimaginative that it dropped from a season debut of 770,000 viewers to only 490,000 by its season end. Technically a fifth season has been picked up, but Schumer was tweeting out cryptic messages about it having a completely uncertain future.

Her newfound, if poorly developed, social justice tendencies are dictating her actions in troubling ways. In recent weeks, she absolutely trashed Kurt Metzger, a writer from her show, when he said sexual assault should be reported and prosecuted through official channels, instead of through the courts of public opinion. He made these comments because another comedian was banned from performing at certain venues because some women had informally reported he had sexually assaulted them.

A mob of feminists said Metzger was promoting rape culture by saying that women should report sexual crimes to the police. “Trying rape on social media is bad and has to stop. It’s not OK and this a ridiculous thing that keeps happening,” he said to The New York Times when that publication wrote a story about the mob outrage over his remarks. Schumer responded:

Schumer made it to the top by being incredibly raunchy and inappropriate, but she is unforgiving when fans make jokes about her sex life.

Schumer has already faced trouble in the comedy world over many credible reports of joke theft. This video shows some of them, and it doesn’t look good.

Schumer’s problems boil down to a decision to stop being funny and transgressive in favor of advancing safe political talking points against guns, in favor of abortion, and against Republicans. Her sketches on abortion are so similar to NARAL’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Abortions” and Bojack Horseman’s abortion of an abortion episode that it’s suspicious.

Schumer’s overexposure — she’s got a new book out, had a movie, is in discount clothing ads, is in cheap beer ads, is in a declining TV show, and is involved in all sorts of comedy controversies — isn’t a great combination with political activism.

“Always leave them wanting more,” is the ethic of show business. If this is what we’re going to get with Schumer, we want less. A lot less.