Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Is This Even Funny?

Amy Schumer, comedy, equal pay, feminism, The Leather Special, PC, HBO, equality

Stand-up comic Amy Schumer made headlines in Variety, this week, for her re-negotiations with Netflix over her recent comedy special, The Leather Special.

It initially garnered her a “mere” $11 million, while, Variety reported, comedians “Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle were given $20 million per special as part of their deals with Netflix,” according to a summary at* “Schumer then went back and negotiated for ‘significantly more compensation,’” scuttlebutt has it.

After-the-contract negotiations seem weird to me . . . almost . . . indecent.

But then, this might be apt, considering Schumer’s characteristic form of humor, which is almost relentlessly of an intimate sexual nature. Like many another Netflix watcher, I could not finish her special. “Indecent” is the nice word for it.**

The special was so relentlessly panned that Netflix created a new feedback system to discourage viewers from leaving severely negative criticisms and evaluations. It was a big deal months back.

So why did she think she could get more? Though she now denies it, the early reports said she demanded some sort of parity with Rock and Chappelle. And that “equal pay” for “equal work” ethic does seem to be behind the very idea of her ex post negotiating strategy.

The thing is, Rock and Chappelle got more money, obviously, because their ability to make money for their venues is amply proven. Schumer, though she is not without talent and definitely has her partisans, is not as big an audience draw.

Like wages in the normal labor market, it’s about productivity.

And you’d have to pay me to watch The Leather Special in its entirety.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* Variety is behind a paywall. I’m quoting Vulture because, like any good scavenger, I’m not paying for Variety.

** No idea whether I would have made it through a special with Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle. I get the impression I’m not in the target audience.

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By: CS Admin


  1. LiveFreeOrDie says:

    LeBron James gets paid $33 million by Cleveland to play basketball; isn’t it only “fair” that they should pay Larry Sanders as much, rather than the paltry $208 thousand the do? Don’t talk to me about stats, experience, or crowd attraction; only “fairness” counts.

  2. Pat says:

    If Netflix is willing to renegotiate the contract after it’s signed then let them.    They got written up in Variety and it’s said there’s no such thing as bad publicity.   

  3. Karen H says:

    These salaries are ludicrous. I mean, not curing cancer, solving the problems of ISIS or poverty. Of course if you wanted to pay me that money, I’d take it. But still out of whack.

    Amy is purely about shock. It is shocking to hear a woman speak that way. I’ve never had friends talk the way she does. Chris Rock is brilliant & Dave Chappelle is a close 2nd for me. But they’re not even worth that type of a payday.

  4. David says:

    Out of whack with what? Certain entertainers attain large paychecks because of their contribution to the bottom line. The dishwasher at a night club does not contribute as much to the bottom line as a popular singer performing there does. Only on some kind of socialist or egalitarian premise is it “out of whack” to receive unequal pay for unequal production contributions to an enterprise.

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