The comedienne Amy Schumer was on Charlie Rose recently talking about politics and stuff when she uttered the following:
SCHUMER: Yeah. All of it, so, you know, I think, I think that people — 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.
Many thanks to Newsbusters for the transcript. Because that's the best laugh I've had all day. Who says Schumer's not funny?
In all seriousness: I actually like Schumer. Her standup generally made me laugh. I enjoyed Trainwreck! It's a fantastic movie reinforcing the notion that women need to stop sleeping around and drinking themselves stupid so they can find a man, settle down, and be truly happy. She's quite good in it.
But let's be honest: much of her success over the last three or four years is entirely related to the fact that she's a standard progressive whose politics-laced skits fit nicely into the mold of "[Liberal X] demolishes/destroys/eviscerates/immolates/draws-and-quarters/guillotines [Strawman Y]." It's a mode of humor pioneered by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert before being perfected by John Oliver, one that provides free #content for click farms like Gawker (RIP) and Salon and Qz and Mic in the form of "viral" videos. Wow, did you see her Friday Night Lights parody? Rape is bad you guys! That's some edgy shit, amirite? Much brave, very omg.
Schumer slid into this niche perfectly, receiving a huge boost because she was the only woman at the time to be featured in such videos. Lord knows she hasn't gotten a massive career boost (more on that in a moment) because her ratings are any good: they are, in fact, quite garbage. Just look at the figures compiled here. She didn't get over a million viewers once in her most recent season. Those numbers aren't everything, of course: think of all the "viral" clicks! All the OnDemand viewings. Et cetera. But still: She's not exactly killing it in terms of raw numbers of fans.
And yet! She has had massive financial success. I assume she was on Charlie Rose because she's hawking her new book—a book for which she received an $8 to $10 million advance. She received that money after starring in Trainwreck, a flick that grossed $110 million domestically, a pretty tidy sum for an R-rated comedy. Her liberal politics contributed directly to her getting a sponsorship deal with Budweiser, and in her ads she talks about women's issues. As we all know, there's nothing the average Bud drinker cares more about than how much women pay for dry cleaning compared to men!
The last four years or so of Amy Schumer's career have been nothing but success—financial triumph after financial triumph. And those triumphs are almost entirely a result of the fact that she has unobjectionable politics to the tastemakers. Indeed, the only thing that has gotten her in any trouble with the people who matter—that is, not Newsbusters or the Free Beacon or any of the rest of us rightwing knuckle-dragging troglodytes but the writers of Variety and the feminist tweeters (of which there are many)—has been her unwillingness to fire one of her writers, Kurt Metzger, because he took the OUTRAGEOUS stance that rape victims should go to the police instead of pressuring comedy clubs into literally blacklisting a guy from working in stand up.
I don't begrudge Schumer her success; like I said, I even find her funny. But the idea that she's suffered any sort of financial penalty for being a Democrat in Hollywood or a progressive comedian is laughable. Quit playing the martyr, champ. It's a wholly unbelievable look.