The latest edition of Lenny Letter features a chat between newsletter founder Lena Dunham and her bestie, Amy Schumer. The pals touch on a wide range of topics, from ducking out of the Met Ball early and body-shaming to Schumer's new book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. It's a pretty glowing piece, which is unsurprising given the friendship between the two women. And, as always, there's a lot to like about what Schumer has to say. But when it comes to addressing the recent controversy surrounding comedian and Inside Amy Schumer writer Kurt Metzger, the actress makes a few extremely frustrating remarks.
Last month, Metzger came under fire for a series of horrendous statements he made about rape survivors and rape culture. His Facebook posts and tweets were in reaction to Upright Citizens Brigade's decision to ban the comedian Aaron Glaser, who was accused of sexual assault by multiple women. At the time, Schumer tweeted that she was "saddened and disappointed" by Metzger's comments. While she also claimed that Metzger was no longer a writer on her show, the fact is that he is credited on every episode of Inside Amy Schumer's most recent season which ended in June.
Dunham asked her about the controversy. "First I was like, fuck Kurt," said Schumer. "It’s been years that he’s been doing this. He’s one of those guys, like a lot of the guys that I’m friends with, who are degenerates. Kurt was saying this awful stuff, and in previous years, I would be like, 'You’ve got to shut up.' He’d be like, 'All right.' Then it would kind of go away. This time, it was just so bad." So Schumer is admitting she knew very well that this guy had a history of saying callous, ignorant, victim-shaming things when she decided to employ him. She probably decided his talent as a writer outweighed the seriousness of his offenses — which is completely her prerogative. But to employ somebody like that and not expect to experience a backlash when he strikes again is wishful thinking.
Schumer went on to dismiss Metzger as a troll. "But also, why are these women treating him like he raped someone? He’s not Bill Cosby; Kurt has never raped. What he was saying was horrific, and he was being a troll. He can be an Internet troll," she told Dunham. "The fact that I had to answer for it … I was like, 'Ugh, why this week?' [Jokingly:] I was like, if there’s scandals, can’t they be about me?'"
Jokes aside, Metzger was not in fact treated like he raped someone. He was not treated like Bill Cosby. He was treated like somebody who said a number of incredibly vile things about women who have been sexually assaulted. He was treated like someone who publicly shamed, made fun of, and minimized the experiences of sexual assault survivors. And Schumer — who added she "was resentful of the lack of trust" and goodwill shown to her — was treated like somebody who calls a person such as Metzger a friend and employee. The backlash Schumer experienced was no doubt frustrating and upsetting for her, but it wasn't unwarranted or unfair.