Tag Archives: Amy Schumer

An Open Letter of Apology to Carrie Fisher

Dear Ms. Fisher:

I feel I owe you an apology. And while I say this speaking strictly for myself, I suspect there is a wider swath of men who might feel the way I do.

You recently came under attack by social media trolls who criticized you for — gasp! — having the temerity to look older since the last time you appeared in a “Star Wars” movie.

The shaming you were subjected to came after your appearances as General Leia Organa in “The Force Awakens.”

Some of the comments, which I read on Twitter, were vitriolic. I was stunned at how base some people were.

But then again, I should have known better: That’s because I’m guilty of contributing to this kind of mentality.

There’s a generation of us men who grew up unenlightened about women. In our childhood and adolescence, we knew Hollywood actresses only to be young and pretty.

I’m thinking here of an age of “Charlie’s Angels” or “Wonder Woman,” for example.

I suppose Hollywood has always placed a premium on youth and good looks, with the scales unfairly tilted against actresses.

My wife and I have had this discussion numerous times, with her pointing out that beyond a certain age, the opportunities for an actress shrink as her perceived value (read good looks) fades.

For a long time I argued – in a Pollyannaish way – that was not the case. I realize, of course, that is very much the reality and that guys like me have contributed to that ethos.

It is a culture that the comedian Amy Schumer so perfectly skewed in a sketch on her show that parodied “Twelve Angry Men.” The all-male jury’s deliberations focused on whether Schumer was “hot enough” to have her own show.

While the sketch was brilliantly subversive and spot-on hilarious, it also exposed an uncomfortable truth:

Terms like “objectify” are not part of the cultural vocabulary of many men when it comes to women. Instead, we use descriptions like “hot,” “cute,” “babe” or worse.

I’ve been a fan of yours since “Star Wars” came out in 1977 and, yes, as an 18-year-old when “Return of the Jedi” was released, lusted after you when you appeared in that bikini outfit.

But that’s a long time ago and it’s belatedly clear to me that women in general and particularly in Hollywood are held to a different set of standards that are linked almost exclusively to their appearances.

Your response to the social media trolls struck a nerve with me:

“Please stop debating about whether or not [I] aged well. Unfortunately it hurts all 3 of my feelings. My body hasn’t aged as well as I have. Blow us.”

Those comments were an epiphany.

I sensed a genuine hurt beneath the layer of sarcasm. Also, there’s something about the fact that I grew up with you, my admiration for your forthright public battle with mental illness and addictions and the head-on way you addressed the trolls that spoke to me.

On screen, you’ve played a princess and a general and in real life you are a mother, daughter, author and actress.

To me, though, you’re smart and brave.

Thank you for that.

Sincerely yours,

Christopher Mele

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Amy Schumer and Other Viewing

Watching Amy Schumer’s brand of comedy is a bit like my visits to the chiropractor: She drives her fingers into your most tender pressure points.

In the case of Schumer, she hits those spots to bring about comedic relief to topics that are fundamentally damn serious.

Misogyny. Gender inequality. Misperceptions about women perpetuated in our culture.

I have only been recently exposed to Schumer’s work in the summer movie “Trainwreck,” written by Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow.

(A disarming, delightful movie that felt a bit too much like listening to a Schumer stand-up act but nonetheless charmingly romantic in the end. And spoiler: LeBron James, playing himself, utterly steals the movie.)


I have not watched Schumer’s hit show “Inside Amy Schumer,” but watched a couple of her sketches, including “Last F**kable Day” and the parody black-and-white sketch of “Twelve Angry Men,” where the premise is a jury has to decide whether she is “hot enough” to merit her own TV show.

My take based on what I have seen of her work so far?

Not since Bea Arthur appeared in the Norman Lear sitcom “Maude” in the 1979s and stoked debates about abortion, women’s rights and gender roles has there been a comedian as hilariously provocative on these topics as Schumer.

In this latest podcast of About Men Radio, Pedro and I discuss Schumer’s profile in the world of entertainment, her messages and how and if they are effectively delivered.

Is it the height of irony that two guys on a show called About Men Radio discuss someone like Schumer, who consistently does such a great job skewering how men view the world?

But wait! There’s more!

We also veer off into a conversation about what else we’re watching in the world of TV and streaming video.

We discuss “Deadwood,” “Game of Thrones,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “Transparent,” “Justified,” “The Shield” and Janet Jackson’ boob flying out at the Super Bowl.


If that’s not enough, we introduce the concept of the “pussycat list,” – those actresses and actors who are favorites because of their acting chops or simply because they are easy on the eyes.

And listen in vain as I try to recall the name of an actor and utterly suffer from mental vapor lock.

It’s not pretty but it’s fun listening.