Amy Schumer deftly avoids talking shit about her friend, the rape apologist

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In an interview with Charlie Rose on Thursday, Amy Schumer talked about her friend and former Inside Amy Schumer writer Kurt Metzger. Too bad she didn't really say much of anything. 

Responding to controversy over a series of recent comments Metzger made on social media about sexual assault allegations, Schumer ostensibly tried to distance herself from her longtime employee, whose statements she already disavowed earlier this week. Reiterating that she disagrees with Metzger,  the comedian avoided any direct condemnation of her friend. 

Instead, Schumer — who has built her brand on feminist humor and jokes that criticize rape culture — came daringly close to defending him.

"Kurt's my friend," Schumer said. "I love him. I'm not on Facebook so I don't read his crazy rants. ... That is not representative of me at all. And, you know, I've asked him, just, 'Can you just stop because it comes back to me?' Because he writes for the show, it's a bigger story because of our connection, and so whatever tangent he's gone off on I have not agreed with, and it's been really upsetting to me seeing someone that I care about hurt themselves like this." 

Source: YouTube

Though Schumer stated on Wednesday that Metzger is not presently employed as a writer for her show (which is currently on hiatus), she explained he has remained on her staff because "his views are so different from those of mine and most of the other writers in the room." 

"We butt heads, we get in fights because he infuriates [me and head writer Jessi Klein]," Schumer said. "We don't want it to just be one-sided ... Jessi and I have such similar sensibilities that ... it feels very positive to have someone in there saying, 'Well, this is from the male perspective.'" 

Aside from reinforcing the pretty troubling stereotype that any single "male perspective" exists — or that the "male perspective" is one as virulently misogynistic as Metzger's — Schumer's comments dance around what she herself identifies as "the real main problem": rape. (It also sounds disingenuous: According to Metzger's comments to Mic, Schumer didn't even want to speak out about the controversy in the first place.) 

The comedian, who has spoken out about being a victim of sexual assault herself, noted Metzger is "the problem, no question," but added that "the focus is on him rather than on what the real main problem is." 

While she commended other survivors who have come forward about their assaults, Schumer also failed to identify another very real problem that tends to get in the way of victims speaking out: rape culture, which normalizes sexual violence.

Though Schumer has demonstrated a clear and often cutting understanding of rape culture on her show, her lukewarm disavowal of Metzger on Charlie Rose was a troubling departure for her. Instead of acknowledging the role that questioning and disbelieving victims — as Metzger did in his posts — plays in silencing survivors and condoning male sexual aggression, Schumer focused on individual acts of violence as the problem, not the larger culture of violence to which her friend has contributed. 

As someone who has not only been critical of rape culture, but who has built a career on lampooning it, Schumer's decision not to speak more strongly against her friend — and her decision to block women who dare to ask her why she hasn't done more to denounce him — indicates her feminist branding might be more self-serving than anything else. 

If Schumer is truly to be the feminist star she's made herself out to be, she should be wary of treating rape apologia as part of diverse "viewpoints." Doing so doesn't just legitimize comments like Metzger's — it makes Schumer the butt of her own joke.