Amy Schumer’s new Netflix standup special The Leather Special debuted on the streaming network last week, and if you were to believe a lot of the news headlines today, Schumer’s fans really, really, really hate it. Outlets like Decider, Yahoo, and The Wrap are reporting that Netflix viewers have been slamming The Leather Special with hundreds of negative reviews. Here’s an excerpt from Decider’s report:
Decider reviewed all 876 “Member Reviews” of the special that are currently posted on Netflix.com, and the results are pretty grim: 33 subscribers gave it 5 stars, 17 gave it 4 stars, 22 gave it 3 three stars, 85 gave it 2 stars, 710 users give it 1 star, and 9 gave it zero stars. That makes the average rating for The Leather Special 1.35 stars. Schumer’s popularity has certainly seen better days.
Sadly, a chunk of these negative reviews can be attributed to misogyny – female comics are frequently criticized for making certain jokes that men make all the time – but a large percentage of these terrible reviews are being written by self-proclaimed Schumer supporters. Guess what? They are not happy.
Putting aside the argument over whether Schumer’s special is good or bad, it’s this bit of info from The Wrap’s report that should make anyone’s suspicion kick in before assuming these are “fans” or true “critics” of Schumer who are slamming her:
The comedian’s hour-long special, titled Amy Schumer: The Leather Special, has received more than 900 ratings since it premiered a week ago. That’s more than double the number of reviews for Trevor Noah’s special Afraid of the Dark, which premiered on Feb. 21.
A quick Reddit search – particularly in the alt-right r/The_Donald subreddit – tells a very different story than what the above outlets are reporting, with posts like this one and this one encouraging people to give Schumer’s 2016 book a bad review on Amazon, plus all of these calls to give her special a one-star review:
There was even a concerted push over at r/opieandanthony for people to leave negative replies to Jim Norton’s tweet about the special, and unsurprisingly, tons of Redditors obliged. Let this all be a three-pronged lesson: Amy Schumer has to deal with a ridiculous amount of sexist bullshit on an everyday basis, reviews for Netflix standup specials aren’t really useful unless they’re used to attack or boycott someone, and going forward, 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, where said “fans” have a whole lot more free time on their hands to attack and harass people than Amy Schumer.
UPDATE: Schumer responded to the news today on Instagram. Read her full statement below:
I am so proud of my special and grateful to all the people spreading love on line about it. I am the first female comic who is selling out arenas all over the world and so grateful for that. I am embarrassed for the “journalists” who report on trolls activities as if it’s news. It’s indicative of administration right now. Anyone who reported that “viewers aren’t happy” with my special, it would have been cool if you did a moment of research before posting. The alt right organized trolls attack everything I do. Read the @splitsider article. They organize to get my ratings down. Meeting in sub Reddit rooms. They tried on my book and movies and tv show And I want to thank them. It makes me feel so powerful and dangerous and brave. It reminds me what I’m saying is effective and bring more interest to my work and their obsession with me keeps me going. I am only alarmed by the people printing their organized trolling as “news” this is what the current administration wants. So this post has nothing against the trolls. I thank you trolls so much. It fills me with hope and power to see you all furiously posting so as always accuse me of whatever lies you want. Call me a whale. Call me a thief and I will continue to rise and fight and lead. I know who I am. I am strong and beautiful and will use my voice my whole time on this earth. Journalists do better it’s embarrassing. Trolls see you on the next one!