Comedian Amy Schumer has never been one to bite her tongue, often being a vocal supporter of social issues she believes in. But on a new episode of “Higher Learning” — a podcast hosted by Van Lathan and “Bachelorette” alum Rachel Lindsay — Schumer explained the learning and educational journey she had to go through to be a better ally for Black communities and specifically Black women.
“I’m part of that contingent of people who grew up like, ‘I have Black friends, I don’t see any difference, I’m not racist,’ and that’s like the biggest lie,” Schumer said during the podcast. “You’re still a part of a white supremacist system that you don’t even realize.”
Schumer said it really hit her four years ago after the release of Beyonce’s seminal “Lemonade” visual album. Schumer was filming “Snatched” at the time with Goldie Hawn in Hawaii and the cast loved it so much, they wanted to recreate the iconic video to “Formation” from the album.
“We made like a video, which I thought was a tribute to Beyonce’s ‘Formation’… I just thought ‘I love Beyonce, I want to celebrate her,'” Schumer told Lathan and Lindsay. “I just didn’t see outrage coming at me. People were really pissed I made this video and they were calling me a white feminist and I didn’t really know what that meant.
“It was explained to me by my friends that it’s not about all women — it can’t be — it has to be about women of color first because they’ve had it the worst for hundreds of years. That had to be explained to me,” Schumer continued. “So I’ve been educating myself ever since then, honestly.”
The country is now in the midst of a reckoning with regard to its relationship with the history of Black people in America. In May, George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police who knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
The death of another Black man at the hands of police led to calls for justice and protests across the country that, in some cases, even turned violent. The reckoning has led to a larger societal examination of systems in America, such as policing, that are rooted in slavery and white supremacy.
Schumer also recently appeared virtually on the Ellen DeGeneres show, promoting her new standup special, and talked about how she’s been protesting every day for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“There was a woman named Dana Nunes on Martha’s Vineyard, she was standing on this medium right after George Floyd was murdered, with a Black Lives Matter sign and we decided to come back and kneel for George Floyd and we’ve met every morning since the beginning of June,” Schumer told DeGeneres. “We’re doing our best to be the best allies we can.”