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Critics Weaponize Whiteness Against Amy Schumer’s ‘Pretty’ Pic

Amy Schumer admits she’d rather not be the star of her own film, “I Feel Pretty.”

After all, the comedienne is white. That’s a problem in our modern age, apparently.

“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.”

Perhaps “Pretty” could have hired a differently abled trans woman of color? Alas, Schumer forced herself to star in the film she also produced.

The stand-up sensation plays Renee, a full-figured gal with extreme confidence issues. So when she bonks her head and wakes up thinking she’s Gisele Bündchen beautiful, her self-esteem soars.

I Feel Pretty | Official Trailer | Own It Now on Digital HD, Blu Ray & DVD

Critics are pounding the film on a number of levels, some having little to do with the screenplay or direction. Turns out Schumer isn’t the only one aghast that a white woman snagged the lead. A gaggle of scribes hit the same target in their withering reviews.

Critic Katie Walsh weighed in on the calamitous casting decision.

Schumer might not be a supermodel, but she still benefits from being an average-size blonde white woman, and therefore, isn’t quite the right performer for the role.

The New York Post’s Sara Stewart, who brings her woke bona fides to the right-leaning paper, suggests white women don’t suffer the slings and arrows of cultural stereotypes.

With seemingly no understanding of how tone-deaf it might be to cast a straight, white, able-bodied blonde like Schumer as victimized by society’s judgment, the lazily written “I Feel Pretty” takes a talented comic and casts her in the worst possible light (and I don’t mean that literally — she looks fine).

The LA Times’ Justin Chang plays the race AND woke card in his review.

If the idea was to feature a woman marginalized by her appearance, wouldn’t a bolder, more progressive version of this story have cast a relative unknown, perhaps even a woman of color, someone without Schumer’s distracting white-feminist baggage and celebrity profile?

Aussie critic Sophie Watson bemoans the fact that Schumer isn’t disabled in any way, along with her problematic skin color.

Ok, so first up, Renee (Schumer) is a blonde, white, able-bodied woman of a very average weight and build. If her body is comedic and instantly shameful, then what hope is there for the rest of us?

Glamour’s mostly positive review of the film by Jill Gutowitz still goes there. The magazine’s critic throws her support behind weaponizing the heroine’s whiteness in between the praise.

With that being said, I hear you, Twitter. Schumer’s experiences differ greatly from women of color, those who are heavier or less able-bodied, and people who don’t benefit greatly from systems of privilege in the way the actress and writer does. And we almost never see those kinds of women on-screen. But in that deeply personal, stripped-down confrontation with her body, I realized that this movie is not about being fat, nor does it say being fat makes you ugly—like some on Twitter assumed it did. This film is about feeling bad about yourself and being insecure.

Should Schumer have followed her gut and cast a woman of color to play Renee? Would the critical reaction be more positive as a result?

That’s unlikely. Social Justice Warriors are never satisfied. These same critics would have pounced on that version of “I Feel Pretty,” too.


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