Amy Schumer is reevaluating her onstage persona amid the changing political climate.
During The Hollywood Reporter roundtable alongside Tracee Ellis Ross, Quinta Brunson, Selena Gomez, Bridget Everett, and Molly Shannon, the “Life and Beth” star addressed a shift in her stand-up, starting with The Whore Tour.
“It definitely used to be fully a persona, and it feels really good to get closer to me,” Schumer said of the shift. “I love playing a monster, just like the worst white woman, but I’m getting further and further away from that [in my act].”
Schumer explained that the change has “happened gradually” after “educating” herself about the effects jokes can have on audiences. Schumer said she was “seeing the harm in joking around about things that are harmful and taking more responsibility and having it not just be about trying to sneak into this boys’ club.”
With women’s reproductive rights threatened on a national scale, Schumer backed a New York bill to provide abortion care across the state. The actress also led a petition for safer portrayals of firearms in TV shows and films in the wake of the massacre in Uvalde. While hosting the 2022 Oscars, Schumer briefly commented on the “genocide going on in Ukraine” and women and trans people “losing all their rights” in the U.S.
Schumer’s fellow comedians Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais also recently came under fire for transphobic comments in their respective Netflix stand-up specials. Chappelle’s “The Closer” led to protests against Netflix in October 2021 after leaked Netflix employee communication showed that the streamer suspended trans employees who criticized the release of Chapelle’s standup. Gervais’ May 2022 special “SuperNature” included quips about “new” women with “beards and cocks.”
At the end of the special, Gervais issued a disclaimer that his comments on the trans community were solely for shock value: “Full disclosure: In real life of course I support trans rights,” Gervais explained. “I support all human rights, and trans rights are human rights. Live your best life. Use your preferred pronouns. Be the gender that you feel you are.”
Fans have since shared backlash on social media, with viewers proclaiming they are canceling their Netflix memberships after the special aired, using the hashtag #TransRightsAreHumanRights.