By Kelsey Duchesne
Amy Schumer preformed in Tampa on Sunday night, and was the first women to ever headline the Amalie Arena (yeah, Schums!). Being mid-October, it’s not surprising that the comedian's routine included topical jokes and commentary regarding the upcoming election. Schumer even started the show by encouraging passersby outside the arena to vote, and sported a Hillary Clinton t-shirt.
During the show, Schumer called on Trump’s blatant sexism, the sexual assault claims against him, and, of course, the most repugnant phrase-heard-’round the world. "You know what I love? A famous guy that will just take me furniture shopping and just straight-up grab my pussy,” Schumer joked to the crowd. Schumer continued to discuss Trump, and even brought a supporter onstage to ask them what exactly they see in their chosen candidate, leading to boos from the audience. “Of course, we’re in Florida, you’re going to boo,” said Schumer, as quoted by Jay Cridlin of The Tampa Bay Times. “I know you’re here to laugh, but you choose how you’re going to live your life, and it’s just too important.”
The show took a poignant turn when Schumer, a sexual assault survivor, asked all fellow survivors to stand, creating an impactful moment for the survivors and the audience. “She said that as an assault victim herself, she’s found the past week of Trump allegations ‘really triggering’”, Cridlin wrote. “She asked the arena bring up the house lights, and then asked other sexual assault victims to stand up. I counted four in the first half of my section alone.” The CDC reported that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, and 80% will be assaulted by someone they know. While it was a significant moment for most, it has been reported that approximately 200 of the 8,500 guests at the show walked out, making up 2-3% of the audience.
Fans have reached out supporting and thanking Schumer for the moment on social media, and reflecting on how the dramatic audience exits while discussing sexual assault is quite telling. “200 out of 8,500 walked out on that Amy Schumer show. 2-3% which=the same amount of Trump supporters that are willing to listen to a women speak,” wrote Twitter user Greg Behrens. We commend Schumer for staying strong through the backlash and walk-outs, and not being afraid to talk about what’s important to her, and an issue that applies to many women.
Even among a night of laughter, there’s no harm in reflecting on a culture that is prone to ignoring sexual assault, and taking part in a moment that creates visibility and motions for change.