Comedian Amy Schumer is no stranger to vicious online attacks, as exemplified by the comments on her new Netflix special, The Leather Special. Since launching on Netflix, the stand-up special has received hundreds of misogynistic comments and low ratings, which Schumer attributed to “alt right organized trolls,” People reports.
Schumer discussed the organized attacks against her by members of the so-called alt right, which engages in racism, Nazism, and white nationalism, in an Instagram post. This is not however the first time that members of the alt right community have engaged in organized, sexist attacks against the comedian. In her Instagram post, she details past attacks on her movie, book and TV programs that were also laced with misogyny. Following the release of her first book in 2016, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, many online trolls also took to Reddit to organize attacks against the book. They used various subreddits to coordinate attacks on her works.
But the 35-year-old comedian says she isn’t fazed by the attacks. Instead, she says the hateful comments from the alt-right only make her feel “powerful and dangerous and brave” and assure her that what she is doing is working. Schumer is known for discussing feminist topics on her Comedy Central show and in her stand-up comedy.
Schumer thanked the trolls for giving her motivation to keep speaking out against sexism. She was, however, critical of journalists who reported on the low-ratings of her Netflix special without researching where the negative comments were coming actually from. Many news outlets simply ran headlines saying fans of the comedian were disappointed by her new hour-long special. Schumer compared the poor reporting to the “fake news” accusations that come from the Trump administration. “I am embarrassed for the ‘journalists’ who report on trolls activities as if it’s news. It’s indicative of administration right now.”
Schumer, however, praised Splitsider for reporting that the low ratings on her Netflix special were in fact a result of an organized attack by alt-right trolls, rather than simply the comments of disappointed fans. Splitsider reported on concentrated efforts on Reddit forums to give one-star ratings on Amazon to Schumer’s book and movie and to bring down the overall rating of her Netflix specials. The publication also noted that The Leather Special had received twice as many reviews as Trevor Noah’s recent special for the streaming platform, Afraid of the Dark, which was released around the same time. Many of the efforts to attack Schumer came from the r/The_Donald subreddit, among other forums popular among members of the alt right, Splitsider says.
Splitsider asked other publications to do their due diligence before reporting that Schumer’s program had received low ratings. “When a standup special suddenly gets tanked by hundreds of negative online reviews from supposed ‘fans,’ their legitimacy is probably worth double-checking over on Reddit.”
Schumer rose to prominence on Last Comic Standing before getting her own TV show on Comedy Central, Inside Amy Schumer, and writing and starring in her own movie, Trainwreck. She has been dogged by sexist criticism and online trolls for much of her career, as she wrote in her Instagram post. She asked journalists to do better in future reporting and not paint the actions of trolls as newsworthy.
Schumer also noted on her Instagram post that she is the first female comedian to sell out arenas and thanked the trolls for giving her the motivation to keep going. Schumer continues to write for and star in her TV show Inside Amy Schumer and will also be appearing in two films to be released in 2017.
[Featured Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]