Schumer Virtue Signals While Diversity Burns
Interviewing Amy Schumer must be a chore. She admits as much herself.
Talk about her new projects segues into political rants, feminist pleadings and more. The old studio system would melt down if it had stars that didn’t stick to the promotional script like Schumer.
Reporters still have to do their jobs. And reading a new Time Magazine interview with the star of “I Feel Pretty” suggests the scribe didn’t close the loop on a key statement from the comedienne.
Schumer is out promoting “I Feel Pretty,” a new comedy with a self-empowerment patina. She plays a woman who looks, well, like Amy Schumer. Her body type is considered both traditional and attractive, but like some women her character craves a swimsuit model’s frame.
Her character suffers a head blow and wakes up thinking she’s as thin as a supermodel. Voila, instant confidence boost. Only the film suggests her character’s inner beauty is what matters most.
All well and good.
Only the Time chat segues into a number of hot button issues, from the Age of Trump to Hollywood diversity. It’s here where Schumer, a producer on her new film, lets loose with a whopper.
“It’s not a perfect movie,” she says of I Feel Pretty, which she also produced. “It would be great if my role had been played by a woman of color and there were more trans people in it, more people with disabilities.” She readjusts the pillow behind her. “But it’s a step in the right direction, I hope.”
Why did Schumer accept the lead role if she preferred a woman of color grabbed it instead? She could have turned the part down and kept her producer credit. She’s not wanting for work. She has a thriving stand-up career and an open invitation to return to her Comedy Central series “Inside Amy Schumer.”
It gets worse.
She isn’t just a star in the movie. She’s the star. There’s no one in the cast with a fraction of the cultural clout she possesses.
That, along with her producer hat, means she wielded power behind the scenes that most actors lack on a given project. Couldn’t she insist on adding more trans actors and disabled stars to flesh out the cast?
It wouldn’t be the first time Schumer flexed her growing clout on a film set. For the 2017 flop “Snatched” she demanded a scene where a character shot a gun get axed from the final product.
Why? It was Schumer’s attempt to reduce guns and gun violence from Hollywood product. She’s become a vocal gun control advocate, and removing that scene was her small way of helping the cause. She served as an executive producer on that project.
It all begs the question: did the Time interview follow up with a tough but fair question regarding her virtue signaling?
It doesn’t appear so.
RELATED: 7 Questions Reporters Must Ask Amy Schumer
Interviewing celebrities isn’t easy. It’s often an exchange set up by the film’s PR department, and time can be tight. Asking stars tough questions isn’t a breeze, but hard news reporters do just that to their sources all the time.
If you’re a Time magazine reporter and a starlet like Schumer uncorks that kind of statement … shouldn’t a follow-up question come next?