Now that the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen aired last night — the network’s highest rated roast in history, by the way, with an average of 6.4 million viewers — the outrage has begun. Hooray! But, really most of the outrage has been directed toward comedian Amy Schumer, who as you’re probably well aware, made a joke about Jackass star Steve-O, who was one of the roasters last night.
While Steve-O was clearly the punch line of the joke, the setup starred Steve-O’s late friend and fellow Jackass Ryan Dunn, who died in June when he decided to get drunk (his blood alcohol level was more than double the legal limit), drive 132 miles per hour and accidentally crash into a tree. Dunn’s passenger, friend Zachary Hartwell, also died. Anyway…
Last night Schumer made the following joke: “I truly am — no joke — sorry for the loss of your friend Ryan Dunn. I know you must have been thinking it could’ve been me. And I know we were all thinking, Why wasn’t it?” Harsh? Sure. But, it is a roast after all. And the joke was about wanting Steve-O to die! Which she obviously doesn’t mean. It was an insult to Steve-O; not Dunn. But, as always, too many people heard what they thought they should hear and freaked the fuck out.
People began tweeting their outrage, and headlines popped up online this morning like, “Did Amy Schumer Cross the Line with the Ryan Dunn Joke?” and “Amy Schumer Ryan Dunn Joke Angers Viewers of Charlie Sheen Roast.” (Note that these headlines label the joke as a “Ryan Dunn” joke, which it wasn’t.) So, I chatted with Schumer today to if she felt she needed to amend anything or even apologize for what she said.
“I don’t feel the need to apologize,” Schumer says. “I respect people’s opinion as long as they understand what the joke is. It wasn’t a Ryan Dunn joke. It was a Steve-O joke. It was a typical roast joke. It had the formula of any roast joke. That wasn’t even one of the jokes I had where I was thinking, ‘here it comes, I’m going to drop the hammer now.”
So, we have to ask. What do you guys think? Did Schumer do anything wrong– or is this a case of “selective outrage,” as comedian Jim Norton tweeted this morning?