Perhaps the biggest misconception held by many stand-up comedians is that their profession somehow makes them experts on matters unrelated to writing and telling jokes. This certainly seemed to be the case for Kurt Metzger, a stand-up comic and writer for Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, who recently posted repetitive Facebook screeds about rape, criticizing the way women report being the victim of a crime. Metzger’s social-media tirades inevitably drew negative pushback against Schumer, his boss, who decried his actions online.
Metzger was specifically reacting to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre banning a comic from its clubs after multiple women alleged he had sexually assaulted and harassed them, leading the UCB to conduct an internal probe. For many observers it simply looked like another terrible instance of abuse, though one that opened up further debate on how to handle rape and sexual-assault allegations in the community. But for Metzger, the ban was either a terrible miscarriage of justice or a punishment lacking in severity: His frenzied Facebook commentary cut both ways, at times lecturing on the exact manner in which victims should report crimes, with seemingly no care for context. On one hand, it feels unhelpful to further amplify these rants—but they also lay bare the sexism that so often goes hand in hand with a comic “telling it like it is.”