If you’re on this website, you likely have a well-formed opinion on Amy Schumer. Over the past five years, Schumer has swung wildly in the court of public opinion. We loved Trainwreck—then we remembered some of her early jokes about Hispanics. We love how real she is on Instagram—but find her Twitter presence problematic. We love Amy Schumer the feminist, but as a white feminist, we’re still eager to see her overcome past blind spots.
Schumer’s new comedy special, Growing, doesn’t quite feature a woman reborn, or cleansed of past imperfections. But it does, aptly, feature a Schumer who’s well on her way to growing up. The Schumer in this special—now both married and heavily pregnant—retains a lot of her classic irreverent attitude toward sex, drinking, and bodily functions. But whether it’s due to past criticisms or personal growth, that attitude is underpinned with a genuine desire to do these topics justice. (Well, maybe not the drinking so much.) Obviously, the best way to decide how you feel about Schumer is to go watch the damn thing (or at least, like, turn it on and scroll through Instagram while it plays in the background). But short of that, here’s a highlight reel of sensitive subjects Schumer covers in Growing—and notably, what she chooses not to touch.
If the lesson we wanted Amy Schumer to learn was to stop making jokes based on racist stereotypes, and also to make her brand of feminism a hair more inclusive, I’d say she succeeded. The first mention of race in this special is an off-hand comment about women asking for tampons “leaning in as though they’re about to say something racist.” She follows with the punchline: “and whatever race you thought I meant, that’s your problem.” To me, this seems like a perfect level of engagement with race for Schumer: it acknowledges that racism is alive and well (likely, within her audience), mocks the specific physicality that accompanies racist remarks made in social settings, and stops just short of actually sharing the content of a racist comment or stereotype on stage. I will happily call that progress.
The second comment on race comes in citing sexual assault statistics for women. She notes that one in three women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, then adds that for women of color and trans women, that statistic looks even worse. Yes, it’s a footnote on a joke, not a full-throated roar on the importance of intersectional feminism. But the fact that it’s included tells me Schumer is listening, and learning—and even if she’s not, I’m just glad it was included.
Also, loving the continued activism on her page:
Among the criticisms I listed earlier, Schumer also got in slight trouble back in 2016 for making jokes about Trump. Apparently, a group of fans left her show in Tampa after she dared to call POTUS a “monster.” (I mean…where is the lie?) Obviously, this is not an aspect to Schumer that I take issue with—and in fact, I was curious to see if she’d go in even harder. While she mostly leaves politics out of it, the comments she did make affirmed that she is still, to use the technical term, hella liberal. Here were a few of my favorite comments.
On Colin Kaepernick: “I think there are only two reasons you should get down on one knee, if you’re a guy. If you’re a player in the NFL, and to eat my pussy.”
On Brett Kavanaugh:* “People criticized me . They were like, ‘that was irresponsible, you’re pregnant.’ And I was like, ‘well that’s why I went down there’, you know? I want to be able to tell this kid I did everything I could, you know? And D.C., I heard, has the best cocaine.”
*ICYMI, Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski went to D.C. to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court and both were arrested.
On #MeToo: “I don’t know what I’m having. I hope it’s a girl. But really just because it’s such a scary time for men.”
On Her Husband
This may seem odd to include on a list of “touchy” topics, given that, unlike race or politics, Schumer’s never been in hot water for her choice of husband. But my favorite moment of the special—and the one that, for me, marked the most personal growth for Schumer—comes about 20 minutes in, on the subject of her husband, Chris Fischer. “I knew from the beginning that my husband’s brain was a little different from mine,” she begins. “And about—” she stops, and shakes her head. “I have to start this over,” she continues, “because I really want to get this right. Because I love him very much.”
Her husband, she reveals, has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Schumer talks about their courtship, sharing early moments when she recognized his mind worked differently, before he’d received the diagnosis. These were not, in any way, moments that created doubt for her, or somehow lessened his ability to be a good partner. In fact, she says the same characteristics that “make it clear that he’s on the spectrum” were the ones that made her fall “madly in love” with him.
Personally, I love the fact that she explicitly discusses his diagnosis, and love even more that she doesn’t shy away from describing that he is, in fact, different. And that that difference is precisely why she loves him. The moment where she pauses, and starts over, felt to me like seeing personal growth happen in real time. She had a moment where she recognized she was entering a sensitive topic, that this topic concerned a group of people she was not herself a part of but very much wanted to show the appropriate respect to, and that, in order to discuss it at all, she would have to do it exactly right. If Schumer applies this same care to all of her comedy going forward, I think she’ll fare better with her critics, and frankly, make more inspiring comedy.
As an hour-long comedy experience, I loved Growing: I laughed a lot, gagged only a little (pregnancy is real sh*t, people!), and came out feeling a personal connection to Schumer that I hadn’t before. As a referendum on Schumer’s character, I’ll say this. If you’ve been disappointed by Schumer’s missteps, and wanted to see evidence that she’s becoming more self-aware in her comedy, you’ll find it in Growing. If you wanted an apology tour and a public renunciation of her entire comedy career, not so much. Beyond the content I highlight above, she talks about her difficult pregnancy, the joys of new period technology, and why she’s glad she waited to get married. It’s honest, a little gross, and felt like the comedy of someone halfway between where I am now and where I’d like to be in 10 years. In other words, someone growing, if not quite grown up.
Images: Instagram (2); Giphy
Happy Monday, everyone! Stassi Schroeder of Vanderpump Rules is may be getting sued for some shit she said on a podcast—and no, not the time she referred to the #MeToo movement as a “male witch hunt.” Or the time she said she was “tired” of people of color talking about race. Against the advice of everyone with a grasp on logic and a desire to see Stassi succeed, Stassi went on another podcast, The Bitch Bible, and proceeded to fuck herself over yet again. This time, she accused ex-VPR cast member Faith Stowers of stealing “over $300,000 worth of stuff,” and also maybe Jax’s car. I’m not sure who Stassi’s publicists are, but I wonder why they continue to let her appear on podcasts, including her own. This story is fucking crazy, so pop an Adderall (but stay away from the tequila) and let’s get into the details of what she said.
Stassi & Kristen’s “Investigation”
Stassi made a ton of claims during this podcast episode—it was honestly kind of hard to keep up. First, she says that Kristen’s friend texted her saying “do you know Faith Stowers? She was out and stole my credit card.” If you’re thinking this sounds less than rock-solid, don’t worry—the text continued to say “I know because her friend came to me and admitted it.” Maybe I’m being jaded here, but I feel like it’s rare for someone to walk up to you and tell you the first and last name of the person who just stole your wallet. Must be an LA thing.
Kristen, because she’s Kristen, obviously goes batshit with this information. She finds a Daily Mail article covering an investigation of a woman who allegedly drugs and robs men in LA night clubs, and decides that woman is “100% Faith.” All she has to go off is some grainy surveillance footage that, I guess, could be Faith, but could also be a ton of other people. Kristen and Stassi then do a bunch of psycho shit like screen shotting surveillance footage, comparing it to Faith’s tagged Instagrams, and seeing if tattoo placement lines up.
hey tweeties, doesn’t this ex #pumprules thief look familiar?
someone put her on mtv & gave her a platform for press. I didn’t wanna go there but I’m going there. https://t.co/4682a7jyzG
— kristen doute ???? (@kristendoute) April 26, 2018
After consulting with DJ James Kennedy, they further allege that Faith (or rather, the unnamed woman in the surveillance footage they’ve been obsessing over who they think is Faith) is wearing Logan’s jacket in the video. (Logan is James’ ex-friend/spurned lover, in case you’ve forgotten. God, this cast is messy.)
and she’s wearing Logan’s jacket!
PS it was his favesies and he would really like it back. https://t.co/SnxmJdcHIo
— kristen doute ???? (@kristendoute) April 26, 2018
Once JacketGate breaks, Stassi and Kristen go full Law & Order and call the authorities. The police tells them in no uncertain terms that they don’t give a shit and are not convinced, which seems like as good a time as any to stop telling people about your “findings.” Or, you know, go on a podcast six months later, up to you Stass!
Listen to Benson, sweetie, she’s better at this than you.
Don’t Worry, There’s More
Stassi, whose Adderall appears to be furiously kicking in at this point in the podcast, drops a few more bombs. She talks about how Faith was “homeless” while shooting VPR, and says that while Faith was couch surfing, Lala Kent would “plant things in her apartment to see if Faith stole it.” A statement that really exclusively makes Lala look bad, but ok. Stassi then goes on to mention Jax’s car being stolen the night that the Jax/Faith hookup is revealed. Again, for unknown reasons, she decides this must be Faith too.
As a parting shot, Stassi warns Faith that she has “video cameras all up in house” and “everyone is going to know it’s you.” First of all, unless Faith stole the car and then stashed it in Stassi’s apartment, I’m not really clear on what kind of damning footage she’d have. Also, WHY do you have video cameras all over your house?? Do you watch old footage of yourself on a regular basis? Is it a sex thing? Please explain. (Actually, don’t.)
Unsurprisingly, Faith has a different version of events. On Wednesday, Faith went on The Tomorrow Show and announced that she’s suing Stassi, supposedly using Lisa Vanderpump’s legal team. On the car-stealing accusation, Faith seems just as bewildered as I am on how Stassi got from “missing car” to “Faith took it.” As Faith puts it, “Jax Taylor’s car magically went missing and I had to be the person that stole it.” As for the other accusations, she recounts Stassi seeing the Daily Mail article, and adds that the woman pictured “was a black woman who looks nothing like me.” Hmm. “I don’t know if Stassi’s been around a lot of black women in her life,” Faith continues. “I’m guessing probably not.”
Judging from the general diversity level of VPR’s cast, I’d say that’s a safe assumption. Faith adds that she was “really shocked” that Stassi would associate her with the woman in the article. But notably, she refuses to label Stassi as a racist outright. “I don’t want to put the ‘r’ word out there and say that she’s racist because that can really stick with somebody,” Faith says. (Despite the fact that Stassi wasn’t particularly concerned about the possibility of false criminal charges sticking with Faith.) As a further insult, Faith reveals MTV “had to do a background check” because of the things Stassi said (for her new show, Ex on the Beach.) V impressed with your restraint, Faith. And good for you for getting off the toxic mess that is VPR (for the not-at-all toxic show that basically Bachelor in Paradise, but with everyone’s exes). Also, I kinda think reality shows should be doing background checks in general (Chad Johnson, anyone?), but whatever.
Faith concludes by stating that she doesn’t want money from this lawsuit. (I take it with a grain of salt whenever a reality star says in a TV interview that they’re not doing something for the money.) She says she just wants Stassi to retract her statements, and more generally, to understand the power of her voice. “You have a reach ma’am,” she says of Stassi’s VPR fame, “and because you have that reach, you have a responsibility so when you say things…you make a check and you make sure they’re true.” As for why Stassi might be making these accusations? “Maybe she still likes Jax” is Faith’s theory. Truly, the burn Stassi deserves.
Images: Twitter (2); Giphy (3)