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Amy Schumer accused of joke theft

Amy Schumer

Photo by 92YTribeca

Amy Schumer accused of joke theft.

Amy Schumer, stand-up comedian, writer and actress has been accused of appropriating material used in her stand-up act and her sketch comedy show Inside Amy Schumer that has been airing on Comedy Central since 2013. There are also reports of similar joke motifs in Trainwreck, her Golden Globe nominated romantic comedy from 2015.

The charges came from a series of tweets started by Wendy Liebman quoting her use of similar material by the late Patrice O’Neal as well as from Tammy Pescatelli, and Kathleen Madigan. Pescatelli was one of the more vocal participants; she did however retract her statements and delete the tweets. And Schumer, for her part, went on Jim Norton’s Sirius XM show and denied any deliberate attempt at stealing material.

From Newser: Pescatelli went on Norton's show the day after Schumer, where she admitted that she "was the last to the party, and ... drank the most, and was the loudest. ... I probably should have just kind of stayed out of it and kept my mouth shut. I shouldn't have accused somebody." She admitted that "parallel thinking" is very common in the comedy world, and seemed to imply that Schumer's writers could be the ones responsible for "lifting" material from others, rather than Schumer herself. "I went too deep," she said. "It went too far, and for that I'm super apologetic." But, the same day, she also went on Jenny McCarthy's Sirius show and said that "underground, this has been being said for a while," that many other comedians have thanked her for bringing it into the spotlight, and that she wants Schumer (who should "stay with the movie stars") to succeed "on her own material." As for Madigan, she's apparently deleted much of her part in the original conversation and hasn't said anything since, but she does still have a retweet up on her page noting that "stealing jokes is despicable," though not specifically mentioning Schumer.

The examples are making the rounds on the web and can be viewed both for and against Schumer. The human brain is a complicated piece of machinery and there are many data inputs. It’s common to create similar content, whether they be jokes, songs or stories. Schumer creates content en masse so this very well may be what has happened in this situation. We will let you make up you own mind.