It's been impossible to ignore Amy Schumer's joke-stealing controversy. It doesn't matter that the three female comedians who accused her of plagiarism have recanted their claims, nor does it matter that Schumer has even offered to submit to (and film!) a polygraph test. The scandal isn't going away.
Whether you believe Schumer or think she's a joke-stealer, comedian Marc Maron's defense of Schumer is worth listening to. On the January 25 episode of his WTF podcast (episode #675), Maron took a few minutes to address what he believes were inane accusations against Schumer.
"It's a one-liner, who gives a fuck? If someone's hanging on to a 20-year-old one-liner as being this essential part of her oeuvre — that's crazy. One-liners are disposable," he said (the comments begin around the six-minute mark).
Maron systematically dismissed each recanted charge against Schumer, and then explained what he believes is really going on: misogyny. Maron shared a little of his own experience with misogynistic fans and said that he ultimately had to change the comments section of his site because it would flare up into an ugly, septic mess whenever a female guest would appear on his show.
"Garbage, slander, violence, just nasty shit — just a string of anonymous monsters. That was the pattern," he said. "They're all dudes who champion this thing [the Amy Schumer joke-stealing controversy]. This has nothing to do with justice. This is about annihilating a woman … they put a lot of work into it — to the point where they manipulated my words to suit their agenda and get that through."
The "monsters" Maron referred to weren't the three women who briefly accused Schumer of stealing their jokes, but rather the people behind the slew of spliced YouTube videos that have been cropping up in the aftermath of the initial (now-recanted) allegations. There have even been some reports that Schumer stole from Maron.
"What is happening with Amy, it has nothing to do with justice and nothing to do with comedy," Maron said. "This is about hate. It's about anger. It's about women-bashing. And it's this contingent of culture … Amy Schumer is just a fucking comic. Amy is an entertainer. And she's the real deal whether you like her jokes or not."
You might not agree with every word Maron says. But the question he raises is an important one: In this rush to judge Schumer, is the negativity she's experiencing really about justice, or is it because she's a woman?
On January 25, Schumer tweeted her thanks to Maron:
.@marcmaron I don't know how to thank you. Thank you.— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) January 25, 2016
Head over to Maron's site to listen to the full episode.