"Be careful what you wish for": that’s what I’d tell my kid if they wanted to be famous. Sure, you’ll get all the girls (/boys). And you might make a buck or two. But the costs can be great, especially when it comes to your personal life. No thanks to social media and advances in technology, it’s never been so easy for the public to keep watch over their favourite celebrities. Being famous is not always fun.
Despite all this, fame is – mostly - a choice. And everybody who chooses it for themselves knows the risks. Which is why it came as somewhat as a surprise to see comedian and actor Amy Schumer get so crotchety about her lack of privacy this week. While Schumer was out and about in Greenville, Leslie Brewer – a male fan of hers – spotted the star and tried to take a video. Unfortunately, Schumer didn’t take too kindly to this. Posting on social media after the event, she wrote that Brewer had “scared the s**t out of” her and that she would not be taking any more fan photos.
As a result, Brewer has been targeted by angry Amy Schumer fans (probably cheesed off that they’ll never get to say “cheese” again with their idol). He seems rather flabbergasted by the response, and so am I. In fact, my sympathy lies entirely with Brewer, who – in footage of the incident – doesn’t come across as particularly threatening; just someone who got a bit giddy about his favourite comedian. It seems hyperbolic to treat him as a danger.
We all have bad days, and perhaps Schumer was having one in Greenville - but I’ve noticed her becoming a bit of a diva recently. Earlier this month, she got grouchy with Glamour after it put her in its plus-size issue and referred to her as such. “[T]here’s nothing wrong with being plus size," she wrote in a public statement, before grumbling about appearing under the category because it supposedly might make young girls think plus-size means thinner than it used to.
The thing about Schumer is a large part of her appeal relies on her relatablity. People like that she doesn’t look like the conventional Hollywood Barbie, and that she can crack a rude joke. She feels more like a pub pal than an A-lister. But this latest debacle shows a rather sharp streak to her personality, implying that she doesn’t really want to be friends with Joe Public. I understand that celebrities have the right to be cautious about people – but nothing about Brewer indicated he meant to harass or harm her.
Sometimes I feel harassed by Schumer myself, when I log onto the internet and am bombarded with endless Mashable clips of her ‘hilarious’ shows. I find her about as funny as piles. In general, she reminds me of the phenomenon Stockholm Syndrome – because she kidnaps unsuspecting audiences and inflicts herself on them until they surrender by becoming fans. I will never surrender.
This whole incident doesn’t show how bad Brewer was – only that there ain’t much humour in Schumer. There are so many celebrities who constantly get asked for photographs and autographs by their fans – requests which they deal with gracefully and tactfully. I can’t imagine it’s always fun, but they get on with it. Sometimes because they’re polite. Sometimes because others are watching. But mostly because they know that they got what they wished for.
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