The Fenty Effect? Amy Schumer Pulls Out of Super Bowl Ads in Solidarity With Colin Kaepernick

Comedians Amy Schumer and Dave Chappelle attend Game Three of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena on May 21, 2017, in Cleveland. Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Remember when we found out that capitalist behemoth Amazon had upped its minimum wage to $15, and we knew there was some kind of catch? Turns out there was—to pay for the living wage, employees agreed to give up monthly bonuses and stock grants.


So, when news began blowing that comedian Amy Schumer is turning down appearing in any 2019 Super Bowl ads in solidarity with the movement for black lives and Colin Kaepernick, I was admittedly suspicious.

Because, in an era where white women are calling the cops on black children and barring entry to their black neighbors, Schumer’s stance is something of an anomaly. Why would she, ensconced in her privilege, support something that really doesn’t directly affect her at all—not only not getting her bag, but reportedly calling on other entertainers like Maroon 5 to step away as well? At this point, I’m so jaded that the obvious answer is hard to take at face value: that it’s the right thing to do; that perhaps she’s learned how to be an effective ally; and that she really isn’t down with the fuckshit of this administration and its rich cronies and racist acolytes.

But while her fellow white women can sometimes be insufferable, we must give credit where it’s due, and in a Friday Instagram post where Shumer is photographed leaning on a giant glass of wine, I was sincerely liking what I was reading.


“I know it must sound like a privilege ass sacrifice but it’s all i got. Hitting the nfl with the advertisers is the only way to really hurt them. I know opposing the nfl is like opposing the nra,” Schumer wrote, in part. “Very tough, but don’t you want to be proud of how you’re living? Stand up for your brothers and sisters of color. And the hottest thing a guy can do is get down on one knee.”


If Schumer gets her way, the culture wars will become even more stark, as the country divides more deeply along its own ideological borders (but the truly right side will have LeBron and Hollywood, most academics and cool people, while the others ... well, I think the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is available). A boycott of Super Bowl ads will be yet another way for that “liberal bastion” in Hollywood to stick it to the NFL—and by proxy, Donald Trump.

And all that sounds good.

But let’s be clear, it’s one thing to talk the talk, but when it comes to missing out on money, many prefer not to walk the walk.


Let’s also be clear that as reported a few days ago, Rihanna was the first one to reportedly decline to perform at the Super Bowl, so once again, this celebrity boycott began with a black woman—like the many black women who are often at the fore of such movements, but rarely get the acknowledgment they deserve.


As for this turn of events, call it “the Fenty Effect.” (Well, they actually already call it that.)

But to her credit, in an earlier post about Rihanna not playing the halftime show, Schumer gave credit where it was due, saying it would be cool if Adam Levine and Maroon 5 “stepped down too,” likely because the NFL is a violent, anti-woman, modern-day-slaving, racist and amoral form of entertainment (wait, Hollywood, is that you?)


ESPN reports that Diddy, Jessica Seinfeld and Christie Brinkley have offered Schumer support among more than 8,000 comments left on her post. It’ll be interesting to see which way the wind blows on this one.


Maybe Ye can do halftime this year. (I swear, I wouldn’t watch).

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About the author

Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.