Kurt Metzger, a comedian and writer, stirred a controversy last week with several online rants about women and rape. Metzger is a long time writer for the Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. Amy Schumer, who is on tour promoting her new book “The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo” felt compelled to take time out from the tour to go on social media and separate herself from the long-time writer of her show.
The controversy started when a comedian and teacher at the revered New York comedy theater The Upright Citizens Brigade was fired and banned from the theater after several women came forward and reported that they had been raped by the teacher and comic. Word spread quickly in the tight-knit comedian community through online groups and text messages, that the comedian had been banned for rape accusations. The owner of a second theater, The Creek and The Cave, chimed in on Facebook and decreed that the comic was now also banned from her theater because of the rape accusations. Quickly women began speaking out on social media and mentioning the comedian by name warning other female comedians to steer clear or come forward if they had similar experiences with the comic.
This was all too much for Kurt Metzger. Metzger is often outspoken on social media. Even though the case had absolutely nothing to do with him, he decided to speak out against the women who were talking about the issue online. Metzger, who admittedly does not know the accused, went on the defensive against what he viewed and described as an “online lynch-mob.”
In one Facebook update he wrote; “so (expletive) dangerous that we can’t go to the police to report his many rapes! That would just be tooooo rapey, and the women are too brave for that. If we ask them to even merely also post a vague account of what happened before asking us to believe that would like re-raping their rape! These women are as BRAVE as they are sore”
Metzger seems to not only doubt the women’s accounts of being raped, but also mocks them for their bravery in coming forward. He complains that they did not go to the police. He demands that he be informed of who they are and what their accusations were towards the accused rapist.
The comments caused a number of fans to petition Schumer on social media for his resignation from the show. Schumer responded that he was not a writer for the show since the show is currently on hiatus. This is a convenient dodge. Metzger has worked on the show before and was surely slated to work on the show in it’s 5th season. Since the show is renewed by Comedy Central, but is not currently in production. Schumer was able to distance herself from Metzger who, technically, is not a current writer for her show which is not getting produced at this time.
Schumer seems to get the point that many in the online community were trying to make to Metzger who simply gets joy in whipping up anger online. In an interview with Charlie Rose which is scheduled to air on Friday, Schumer went on to say; “There’s so much victim-shaming. When a woman says she was assaulted, a lot of people’s first reaction is to say, ‘No you weren’t,’” she said. “They treat it like the Salem Witch Trials. It’s really unfair and it makes people not want to come forward.”
Um, yeah, Amy this is exactly what the entire online community was trying to get across to Metzger. It is not okay to shame or doubt an account by the victim of being sexually assaulted. Metzger represents the kind of man who feels like he is under attack and feels like this type of accusation might be false and could possibly victimize him. This type of reaction is baffling to me. Metzger does not know what happened. So far all anyone knows is that several women individually came forward to accuse a man of sexually assaulting them. Why is Metzgers’ initial reaction to doubt the accusers even though he has no connection to the case? Metzger has no right to complain about how the women came forward. He has no right to doubt their claims. He is simply being a 1970’s caricature of a man and doubting the veracity of their claims in order to whip up his fans and cause anger online. This sounds like the type of thing someone who is currently running for president would do. (hint- his name rhymes with “chump”)
Only these women and the accused know what whet on between them. Metzger wanted to complain for the sake of all men as if men were somehow the victims in the world of sexual assault. This kind of backflipping of the issue is exactly what is wrong with men’s handling of sexual assault cases. Too often they want the accuser to prove that the assault happened. This may be fine if you are the accused, but if you are simply a bystander throwing stones on social media, it makes you look like an insecure troll. Metzger got hit with a wave of vitriol online and then, after several more angry tirades against “the liberal left” and “social justice warriors”, Metzger tried to backtrack his statements and said that he never asked the accused to come forward. This is a total lie.
This is quoted directly from Metzger’s Facebook page; “Anyone who wants to explain how I’m wrong or especially a victim who wants to tell exactly what happened (with regard to this specific UCB Aaron Glazer thing.) is welcome to call in or come in to Race Wars on Wed. I will be happy to join a lynch mob if given more to go on. Hold on, did you think I was against mob justice? I’m not a monster!!!!!
Just how about telling us what actually happened? I believed Janice Dickinson solely on hearing her story. Now we don’t even get a story first?? And I’m wrong to be disturbed as fuck by this? Please come on I welcome your input.”
As if the victims or anyone else owed him an explanation. Metzger just thinks that he needs to be kept informed of the situation because he thinks of himself as that important. In trying to backtrack his statements, he forgot that some of us have a memory. Metzger wants you to believe that he is on the side of justice, he is really in the side of Kurt Metzger. He just doesn’t get it and he likely never will. How this controversy will affect his career going forward is anyone’s guess.
Schumer for her part has distanced herself from Metzger and, though she says she counts him as a friend, whether she will keep him on staff for the writing of the 5th season of Inside Amy Schumer remains to be seen.