Comedian Amy Schumer probably wanted to be talking about her new book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, with Charlie Rose in an episode of his talk show set to air on Friday. But instead, she had to spend time both defending and condemning fellow comic and former writer on her sketch show, Kurt Metzger.
“One of the reasons he’s such a great writer and such a great contributor to our television show is because his views are so different from that of mine and most of the other writers in the room, especially Jessi Klein, who’s the head writer of the show,” Schumer told Rose of Metzger, who wrote on her Emmy-winning Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer and also appeared this past year in Louis C.K.’s Horace and Pete. “We butt heads. We get in fights because he infuriates us.” “It’s an interesting writers’ room because it’s always been very diverse with the views in there,” she continued. “We don’t want it to just be one-sided.” While she and Klein have a very similar sensibility, Schumer described Metzger as having “the most male” or “most out there perspective possible.”
The reason Schumer had to talk about Metzger at all is because this week he used his Facebook page to openly defend comedian Aaron Glaser, who was hit with accusations of sexual assault from multiple women. In the process of distancing herself from Metzger, Schumer noted that her show is on an indefinite hiatus and therefore has no writers currently on staff.“Kurt’s my friend. I love him,” Schumer told Rose. “I’m not on Facebook so I don’t read his crazy rants. He gets something from going after people, making them mad. That is not representative of me at all.” She has asked him to stop because, since he has been a writer on her show, “it comes back to me.” Schumer added, “It’s been really upsetting to me seeing someone that I care about hurt themselves like this.”Instead of focusing on Metzger’s provocations, Schumer said she hopes people will instead examine the actual problems of rape culture and nonconsensual sex. “He baits people, he’s the problem, no question,” she said of Metzger, “but the focus is on him rather that what the real, main problem is.”“There’s so much victim-shaming. When a woman says she was assaulted, a lot of people’s first reaction is to say, ‘No you weren’t,’” she said in the interview. “They treat it like the Salem Witch Trials. It’s really unfair and it makes people not want to come forward.”In her new book, Schumer does come forward, revealing the details of her own sexual assault. “Some might say it wasn’t a big deal,” she writes. “Or that it was all my fault since I was drinking, he was my boyfriend, and I was lying right there next to him.” But she knows what happened and is not afraid to speak out about it.
But at the same time, Schumer told Rose that if she focused her energy on “online trolling” then she would “never get anything done.” Instead, Schumer has contributed some of the most pointed satire about rape culture.There was her “defense” of Bill Cosby in the court of public opinion and her “Football Town Nights” sketch about high school athletes outraged by the team’s new “no raping” rule. Perhaps most biting was a sketch in which she plays a “very realistic” military video game in which her female character gets raped by a fellow soldier and then must jump through bureaucratic hoops to report it.