Netflix has recently begun investing a lot of money in stand-up specials from big name comedians, and one of the latest to hit the web was Amy Schumer's The Leather Special. The special debuted in early March, and the responses have varied from enthusiastic and infuriated, and some subscribers reportedly went so far as to deliberately down-rate it on Netflix. Amy Schumer has come out to address the people who have down-rated her special, saying this:
Anyone who reported that 'viewers aren't happy' with my special, it would have been cool if you did a moment of research before posting. The alt right organized trolls attack everything I do. Read the @splitsider article. They organize to get my ratings down. Meeting in sub Reddit rooms. They tried on my book and movies and tv show And I want to thank them. It makes me feel so powerful and dangerous and brave. It reminds me what I'm saying is effective and bring more interest to my work and their obsession with me keeps me going.
Amy Schumer has proved in the past that she's not afraid to use social media as a means to fire back at folks online who have criticism for her, so her Instagram response to the Netflix reviews isn't a huge shock. When news leaked at the end of 2016 that she was in talks to star in the live-action Barbie movie, some people had pretty vulgar reactions. Schumer took to Instagram to post a picture of herself in a bathing suit and reveal that she's happy with who she is and all that she's accomplished. She even went so far as to thank the "trolls" for proving that she is a great choice for the role, and explained that everybody needs "to laugh at the haters and sympathize with them."
In this case of this Instagram post, Amy Schumer didn't include a photo of herself. Instead, she shared a screenshot of a SplitSider article reporting that alt-right posters on Reddit were deliberately tanking her reviews on Netflix. Take a look:
The SplitSider article cited a number of Reddit posts calling for users to give The Leather Special 1-star reviews once it hit the web, and while it's impossible to say how many of the Netflix reviews come from folks from Reddit, there are certainly a great deal of negative reviews. There are currently nearly 2000 reviews posted for The Leather Special at this time, and the average rating is 1 star. As it turns out, her comments to trolls motivated at least one to respond. Here's what a certain Netflix subscriber had to say:
She welcomes the trolls and haters so here I am. The best part of this special is it marks the beginning of the end for an over hyped, short lived career in comedy. Once her 'fans' tired of defending the joke thief, by using sexism as an excuse for bad reviews. I'll look forward to her shamelessly trying to stay relevant. I personally don't think Tina Fey is funny either, but she doesn't seem to have a sexism problem circling the wagon to blame things on, and I respect her as an original comic. Enjoy the spotlight Amy, I have a feeling it rolls downhill from here. Good thing you sold out for the cash, but even Bud Light pulled her ad due to tanking sales. The test of time will show she's unoriginal and forgettable.
Another Netflix subscriber doesn't believe that The Leather Special even deserves the bare minimum rating of 1 star. In fact, according to this person, any who enjoyed the special couldn't have been completely sober. This was the review:
Childish vulgarity, yes. Hilarity, no. I don't think I laughed once in the 20 minutes or so that I was able to watch of this. This is a great example of when someone gets famous for all the wrong reasons. Call me crazy, but I just don't get it. Anyone who says this was the least bit funny must've been either drunk, high or not even watched. Yes, vulgarity can be funny (watch, for example, a Jim Jefferies special) but Schumer's special is just plain vulgar and completely unfunny. 0 out of 5.
At least some of the reviewers do seem to have genuinely watched the special and know her humor from other projects. One Netflix subscriber came to Amy Schumer's defense, sharing this:
For people who actually want to watch the special before they review it, it's Amy Schumer doing what she always does. Great Comedy. Ignore the 1-star reviews. Particularly the ones that say, 'I've always hated her so I'm reviewing this 1 star.' If you don't like her to begin with, I'm not really interested in your rating on her new material. Stay Strong Schumer, as people actually watch the special they'll laugh and give actual ratings based on the piece itself.
We'll have to wait and see if and how the negative reviews will influence Amy Schumer's relationship with Netflix. The streaming service is spending a great deal of money to dominate the stand-up comedy circuit, and Schumer's brand of comedy clearly creates a lot of buzz. Who knows? Maybe all the outcry against The Leather Special will make Netflix want even more of Schumer. After all, she comes with a certain fanbase, and all the chatter about the negative reviews has brought attention to the company. There's no such thing as bad publicity, right?