The Oscars controversy finally seems to be settling a bit, but at least one person — Amy Schumer — seems to be working hard to reignite either the Smith/Rock slap controversy, or something entirely new. The Trainwreck actress shared some of her Oscars experiences during a stand-up routine in Las Vegas over the weekend. Along with sharing her feelings about the slap, Schumer revealed she was told she couldn’t make a joke about last October’s shooting on the set of Rust.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer listed a number of jokes that were deemed to controversial for broadcast, including potshots taken at James Franco and podcaster Joe Rogan. THR didn’t produce those jokes verbatim, but they did quote the Rust joke: “Don’t Look Up is the name of a movie, more like don’t look down the barrel of Alec Baldwin’s shotgun.” After the round up of disallowed jokes, Schumer mused, “I wasn’t allowed to say any of that but you can just come up and [clock] someone.”
Schumer’s joke refers to the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Western Rust back in October. Ever since the incident, blame has been assigned to plenty of different parties, but in more recent days the hairy eyeball of Hollywood seems to have fallen on Baldwin, who was holding the gun that killed Hutchins and was executive producer on the film. Among other things, the former 30 Rock star is facing multiple lawsuits.
There is an interesting angle to all this. Amy Schumer complains about certain jokes not being allowed at the Oscars and paints Will Smith’s slap as some kind of hypocrisy. But of course, what happened between Smith and Rock wasn’t planned liker her jokes were. Will Smith didn’t first approach the Academy and petition to slap Chris Rock, so it’s not really a fair comparison. In the meantime, ever since the slap, Schumer has been complaining about being “traumatized and triggered” by the moment. She wrote about it in a since deleted Instagram post (via Variety), seeming much more concerned about her own emotional state afterward than about Chris Rock, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, or anyone else. She echoed this during her weekend set in Vegas, saying, “And it was just a f—ing bummer. All I can say is that it was really sad, and I think it says so much about toxic masculinity. It was really upsetting.”
So, to Amy Schumer, the tragedy of the infamous slap was not the impact it had on Rock, Smith, or Pinkett-Smith, but how it traumatized Amy Schumer. And yet, she was more than willing — and still seems willing — to exploit the trauma of Halyna Hutchins‘ family, her friends, and everyone else who was on the set of Rust for laughs. To Amy Schumer, it is inexcusable that she was in the same building where one man slapped another man. But a woman shot and killed? What’s wrong with joking about that? If she had been allowed to tell the joke, the fact that one of the world’s most well known comedic actresses would be on stage during one the world’s most famous awards ceremonies turning their personal tragedy into giggles couldn’t possibly add to the trauma of Hutchins’ husband and child, could it?
Maybe, just maybe Amy Schumer, it’s okay to shut up sometimes.