Do you remember MTV Icons? I’m talking specifically about the year P!NK, Mya and Usher performed tributes to Janet Jackson. Their medley was supremely choreographed, they were expertly styled from the tops of their heads to the tips of the toes and were introduced by our dearly departed Aaliyah.
Do you remember the Justin Timberlake, Seann William Scott and Will Ferrell’s parody of The Matrix Trilogy from when the MTV Movie Awards were still popping?
I do and I’m telling you Amy Schumer’s video with Beyonce’s Formation playing in the background was neither a parody nor a tribute. See, the MTV Icons was complimentary and the Timberlake, Scott & Ferrell thing was funny (at the time, it’s not aged well) but what Schumer and her cohort produced failed on both counts.
Last Friday the video was released on Tidal then uploaded to YouTube and Twitter’s High Priestess Feminista Jones decided in her infinite wisdom to start the hashtag #AmySchumerGottaGoParty as a reaction to the video. Later explaining in depth why the video was offensive in this insight thread.
For me watching the media’s response to Jone’s hashtag further highlights the issues with Schumer’s brand of toxic white feminism, a school of thought shared by her friend Lena Dunham. One of the tenets of its toxicity is made manifest in the provocation of black women into discourses about our mistreatment but once we’re engaged reporting us as angry and overly critical. The joke is no one I know is angry about the video just highly aware of Schumer’s use of what is perceived as “Black Twitter’s Outrage” to garner herself attention and promotion for the film she and Goldie Hawn are shooting in Hawaii.
That being said, if any black women are angry about Schumer’s claim her video was a tribute and/or a parody they’d be justified. *sings Solange’s Mad* Back when her sister in toxic white feminism, Lena Dunham put her foot in her mouth it was Schumer who accepted the advice of a black man about why what was said was problematic. Articles opined Schumer’s video was tone deaf, an understatement seeing as she’s literally deaf when it comes to the voices of black women. I questioned myself before writing this- has the response to her video been unduly heavy because she’s a woman? Are we treating her differently than we would men who’ve done similarly asinine things? No. Last year Vogue declared Schumer as “the feminist the world needs right now” but her feminism is not intersectional. Loni Love, co-host of The Real burst into tears expressing the difficulties she faces at that intersection as a woman, a comedian and a black person Schumer fails to realise exist. “A lot of black women feel like they’ve been put at the bottom” Love shared before her voice got choked up. Beyonce’s Formation and album thereafter were a celebration of black womanhood one a monumental scale never before seen in the mainstream and that was important for us. Schumer’s insistence that her video was“all love and women inspiring each other #strongertogether” fails to discern the reason not all women feel included or well represented in her video or that the reason a lot of black women hold Lemonade dear is the representation we’re rarely afforded thus her hijacking of the video and consequent maligning of black women and other women of colour as extras in the video is galling. Like Dunham before her Schumer has thrown a stone into a crowd and hidden her hand with her flippant remark “you know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation.”
That bitch would listen and show empathy when taken to task.
That bitch would learn the choreography.
That bitch isn’t Amy Schumer.
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