Amy Schumer’s new Netflix special, “Amy Schumer: The Leather Special,” launched last week, and the reviews are scathing. But the liberal comic has a readymade excuse. Her show isn’t bad — it just got hijacked by Trump supporters. Right?
“The alt right organized trolls attack everything I do,” Schumer (Trainwreck, 2015) declared in an Instagram post last week. “They organize to get my ratings down. Meeting in sub Reddit rooms. They tried on my book and movies and tv show.”
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I am so proud of my special and grateful to all the people spreading love on line about it. I am the first female comic who is selling out arenas all over the world and so grateful for that. I am embarrassed for the "journalists" who report on trolls activities as if it's news. It's indicative of administration right now. Anyone who reported that "viewers aren't happy" with my special, it would have been cool if you did a moment of research before posting. The alt right organized trolls attack everything I do. Read the @splitsider article. They organize to get my ratings down. Meeting in sub Reddit rooms. They tried on my book and movies and tv show And I want to thank them. It makes me feel so powerful and dangerous and brave. It reminds me what I'm saying is effective and bring more interest to my work and their obsession with me keeps me going. I am only alarmed by the people printing their organized trolling as "news" this is what the current administration wants. So this post has nothing against the trolls. I thank you trolls so much. It fills me with hope and power to see you all furiously posting so as always accuse me of whatever lies you want. Call me a whale. Call me a thief and I will continue to rise and fight and lead. I know who I am. I am strong and beautiful and will use my voice my whole time on this earth. Journalists do better it's embarrassing. Trolls see you on the next one! 😘😘😘
If this is true, it’s pretty darned impressive. Schumer’s Netflix show had 2,560 reviews as of Sunday, with an average rating of one star. Ouch.
Worse, the “Leather Special” has received negative reviews in the actual press as well. The Los Angeles Times‘s Lorraine Ali called the act “obscenely funny. … And as it turns out, that’s not a good thing.” Ali argued that “the dirtier it gets, the less daring it feels.” Newsday’s Verne Gay agreed, saying there was “too much of the carnal Amy, not enough of the smart, cultural critic Amy.” He gave it a “C.” The Detroit News‘ Tom Long called it “pretty darn funny,” but said the humor “feels dated. Things are going on in the real world, Amy, haven’t you noticed?”
She certainly has noticed a few things — namely that she can pin her troubles on President Trump, or in this case his alleged army of alt-right Reddit trolls. After all, Barbara Streisand recently blamed Trump for “making me gain weight,” and women have been complaining that the president is giving them migraines. Schumer’s just the latest to get in on the action.
But she hasn’t exactly been silent on political issues in the recent past. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Schumer openly supported Hillary Clinton, declaring at one point that those who did not like the Democrat “aren’t informed.” In October, a Tampa crowd booed when she described Donald Trump as “an orange, sexual-assaulting, fake-college-starting monster.”
But is her show under assault by the nameless Trumpkins, or is it just bad? The top two most helpful reviews certainly don’t seem penned by trolls:
I have always enjoyed Amy’s stand-up. I got thru 15 minutes of this and called it a day. There is absolutely no growth in her act. The things she talked about in this special are things she’s talked about for years – sex, her promiscuous life style [sic] and drinking. I simply didn’t like it as it was missing the primary ingredient required in a comedy special — humor. [269 out of 306 members found this review helpful]
Awww, c’mon Amy! You can do better. Did you even try out this junk before you went on stage? This is some seriously poor, cringeworthy, stinky, low effort garbage. Do better next time. If there is a next time. [161 out of 192 members found this review helpful]
Many of the Netflix reviews do not attack Schumer personally, as a troll would. “Tried, i really tried to like this and watch until the end but i find it just impossible,” one user wrote. “Not saying she is terrible but this comedy special certainly is. Do not recommend at all.” Nine out of 13 members found this review helpful.
Other stand-up connoisseurs critiqued her style. “This is really my issue with this special, she takes a bit and just won’t let it go, she keeps dragging bits out forever, long pas the apex,” one user wrote. “She should take some pointers from the likes of Murphy (black observational humor), Rivers (can we talk), Kinison (yelling), and others, yes, they have their overriding arc, but the delivery keeps moving, one bit to the next, boom, boom, boom, they might circle back around on a rare occasion, but they all knew how to keep their act fresh and moving forward. She doesn’t.”
None of these four reviews sounds anything like a baseless troll trying to attack Schumer for political reasons. They just don’t like the style of this stand-up.
But the comic was so convinced that the negative reactions were the work of alt-right trolls, she attacked journalists for reporting on the ratings. “I am embarrassed for the ‘journalists’ who report on trolls activities as if it’s news. It’s indicative of administration right now,” Schumer wrote in her Instagram post. “Anyone who reported that ‘viewers aren’t happy’ with my special, it would have been cool if you did a moment of research before posting.”
Well, this PJ Media reporter did his research, and found the “troll” reviews rather substantive. And does Schumer wish to suggest that The Los Angeles Times and The Detroit News are alt-right troll outlets?
Undeterred, Schumer went on to engage in gross virtue signaling. “I want to thank” the trolls, she declared. “It makes me feel so powerful and dangerous and brave. It reminds me what I’m saying is effective and bring more interest to my work and their obsession with me keeps me going.”
You just keep telling yourself that.