Comedian Amy Schumer is facing backlash after telling a joke she says she was advised not to do while co-hosting the 2022 Oscars while trying to make a point about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. She had a number of jokes she claims her lawyers told her to cut from the Oscars act, but one in particular probably should have been left in the trash.
“Don’t Look Up is the name of a movie? More like don’t look down the barrel of Alec Baldwin’s shotgun,” she said. “I wasn’t allowed to say any of that [at the Oscars], but you can just come up and [slap] someone.”
To be clear, Smith was in no way given permission to hit anyone during the awards show, and Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, whether or not he knew she had alopecia, was also reportedly unscripted. Smith then apologized during his Oscar acceptance speech for best actor, as well as posted a full written apology on Instagram to Rock, the Academy, and his fellow King Richard actors.
The Academy itself made it very clear that they did not approve of the slap, reportedly considering options such as revoking Smith’s Oscar and kicking him out of the awards show running altogether. Just days ago, Smith responded by resigning voluntarily, ending any future chances of winning more Oscars.
Schumer’s joke refers to a shocking 2021 incident in which a set gun went off in Baldwin’s hands while he was discussing a scene with directors for the movie Rust, the bullet striking and killing director of photography Halyna Hutchins. Baldwin claimed he was under the impression that there was no ammunition in the gun, and says that it went off while he was pulling the gun’s hammer back to clarify how he should handle the firearm in the scene.
The accident sent shockwaves through the industry, with accusations flying around who was really responsible for Hutchins’ death. To many, it clearly still feels too early for jokes about the sudden loss of a talented and important eye in the cinematography business, and people are taking issue with Schumer acting like planning a joke about a tragic death is the same as a spontaneous slap.
Schumer has made the claim that the Oscars slap left her “triggered and traumatized,” which was confusing to a lot of people and led to accusations that the white comedian was making an issue between three Black people all about her. She later deleted the Instagram post, but has continued to talk about the Oscars incident on stage.
“I was kind of feeling myself and then all of a sudden Ali was making his way up,” she said before dropping the Baldwin joke. “And it was just a f—ing bummer. All I can say is that was really sad, and I think it says so much about toxic masculinity.”
Schumer is not the only one to compare the Baldwin shooting to the Smith slap, as different as those situations may be. Those who don’t care for the comparison are making their irritation with the comedian known.