Amy Schumer’s “fight” for wage gap?

Veronica Wernicke, Contributing Writer

Where is comedian Amy Schumer right now? Probably somewhere coming up with bits about her weight as it’s what she usually jokes about at her shows. Now where are fellow comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock? Probably coming up with their own bits on their race. However, both Chappelle and Rock will take home millions more than Schumer even though they have the same job.

Schumer has been making a name for herself in the comedy world since 2013 when her hit Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer premiered. Which, according to Deadline, grossed 1.6 million total viewers in its initial series opener. Since then she has gone on to star in her own Netflix special Amy Schumer: The Leather Special, which came out this year, along with the blockbuster movies Trainwreck in 2015 and Snatched just this past May.

Schumer has also gone on to make headlines this past week based on statements she made regarding the gender wage gap.

On Wednesday, August 23, she posted a picture on her Instagram with the caption, “Thanks for chiming in on what you feel I deserve to be paid. I believe women deserve equal pay. However I don’t believe I deserve equal pay to Chris and Dave. They are legends and 2 of the greatest comics of all time.”

This remark went on to cause a lot of controversy and even I find myself turning my head at this statement. According to The Independent, in 2016 Schumer made $13.1 million, while her male counterparts Chappelle made $13 million, according to USA Today, and Rock’s net worth is reportedly $70 million, according to Time. 

In her most recent global tour, Schumer performed 54 shows. Meanwhile in Chappelle’s most recent tour, he performed a whopping 15 shows and is set to only perform 14 shows in his initial 2017 tour. Rock recently went on his first tour in nine years with an initial 29 shows and 50 more this fall. However, unfortunately both Chappelle and Rock did and probably will still make more money than Schumer.

All three comedians make “dirty jokes” yet Chappelle and Rock make way more money than Schumer. Trying to grasp this fact as a fellow woman is disappointing and annoying, especially since Schumer definitely did more shows than Chappelle and close to the same amount as Rock. Yes, both Chappelle and Rock are very well known comedians in comparison, but during their several years of hiatus Schumer has been kicking some tail.

Now where does Schumer compare to her fellow female comedians? She is the only female comedian to make Forbes’ top-paid comedians list, where she was placed at fourth in 2016 and fifth this year. In other words, Schumer is certainly heading.

Although with her recent Instagram statement, it can be seen as counterproductive. I mean come on Schumer, you say you believe in equal pay, but then say you don’t deserve equal pay to your male counterparts. I don’t care how long you’ve been in the comedy scene or how many shows you’ve done. Both Chappelle and Rock took breaks from their comedy tours; meanwhile Schumer has been busting her ass in the comedy world, but still isn’t paid equally.

In her Instagram statement it appeared that Schumer didn’t really care about having equal pay between men and women, and it felt like she didn’t want to try and achieve that goal. Despite her “saying” so.

This idea especially became prevalent to me when she said, “I did ask for more than the initial offer. I will continue to work my ass off and be the best performer I can be. The reports of me ‘demanding’ or ‘insisting’ on equal pay to them aren’t true.”

I wholeheartedly believe that she should instead be fighting more for equal pay like her fellow ladies in entertainment. Popular examples being Emily Rossum from Shameless and Meryl Streep during her Golden Globes speech. By not demanding I feel like Schumer is letting down not only her fellow women in entertainment, but fellow women around the world including myself. One day I don’t want to have to worry about the wage gap because it won’t exist and I definitely don’t want the wage gap to exist for future generations to come.

We need more women in entertainment to stand up, fight for and demand equal pay so that women like myself and generations to follow are assured something as basic as equal pay in the future.