On the most recent episode of Inside Amy Schumer, the outspoken funny lady sets her sights on Bill Cosby and the seemingly endless parade of women accusing him of sexual misconduct. If you have ever watched her show (and I highly recommend that you do), then you know she likes to take it there. Did you see her video ode to “fudge machines” featuring Amber Rose and Method Man? Hilarious. But I digress…
In this skit, Cosby (who is never shown) is on trial, but not in the court of law. Cosby is on trial in the court of public opinion and as his lawyer, Schumer pulls out all the stops to make sure everyone forgets about those pesky rape accusations and remembers the pudding pops. Ya know, the important stuff. She plies the jury with (ugly) sweaters, chocolate cake and funny Cosby Show clips. She even walks out doing the Cosby strut.
The sketch has more than a few laughs in there, but like a lot of Schumer’s comedy, there is an over-arching social commentary as well. The implicit conversation is about how we treat male celebrities who allegedly behave badly in their personal lives, especially when it comes to women accusers. There is a long list of famous men who have been accused of and sometimes convicted of criminal acts towards women and many of them have continued on to successful careers in music, film, television and sports. Some say that a celebrity’s personal life has nothing to do with his or her talent and should therefore not have an impact on whether or not fans enjoy that person’s work. But in today’s world of 24/7 entertainment news, reality shows, TMI social media streams and stalker-like paparazzi, the line between personal and professional is blurred and it is often the personalities and “candid moments” of famous people that earn them more fans or sometimes more detractors.
In real life, nobody has sent Cosby fans sweaters or pudding pops, but Cosby has gotten hefty support from many people including Jill Scott and his former co-star Phylicia Rashad. Those ladies and others who have come to his defense, have talked about his tremendous legacy and how these accusations should not overshadow the decades of work he has done. Indeed, nothing can undo the impact of the Cosby Show, A Different World and Cosby’s numerous contributions to film, television and education. Nobody is 100% good or 100% bad. We are all multi-faceted people and Cliff Huxtable is a character not a man.
What do you think about Schumer’s comedic take on the Cosby situation? Does a celebrity’s personal life influence whether or not you appreciate that person’s talent?
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