Why Amy Schumer’s Israel-Gaza posts were corrected by MLK’s daughter

 (Getty/The Independent)
(Getty/The Independent)

Amy Schumer has emerged as one of the most vocal celebrities in support of Israel’s assault on Gaza, launched in response to a surprise attack by Hamas on 7 October.

The comedian and actor is using her large Instagram platform to campaign on behalf of Israel’s operation and call for the release of hostages held in Gaza. She’s also sliding into the DMs of other actors who criticised her posts and prompted pushback from Dr Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.

Dozens of celebrities posted about the 7 October attacks at the time, sharing that they stood with Israel. The Trainwreck star shared footage of the attacks and urged Hamas to free the more than 200 hostages being held in Gaza. “Jewish people are the only group not allowed to defend themselves,” Schumer captioned the post. “This has nothing to do with the occupation. Hamas don’t want end to occupation. They want to eradicate Israel.”

Her Instagram post received more than 87,000 likes, and as the weeks continued, Schumer kept sharing content which many social media users called out as propaganda, and for perpetuating harmful stereotypes.

Last week, Schumer shared a since-deleted comic on Instagram, which intended to satirise comments made by American Pro-Palestine supporters. “Gazans rape Jewish girls only in self defense,” read one of the signs in the comic. “Proud of our rapist martyrs,” said another.

Conflating Palestinian civilians with Hamas led to considerable pushback on social media.

“It’s so crazy to me how Bella & Gigi had to tiptoe around their statements and then Amy Schumer is like ‘Gazans are rapists’ and will still have a career,” actor Asia Jackson wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

The Los Angeles-based actor, who has 38,000 followers, didn’t tag Schumer’s account directly. Still, Schumer messaged Jackson on Instagram: “Did something I post about my people being massacred upset you?”

“The Islamophobia and generalisation of Gazan people did,” Jackson, who is an African-American and Indigenous Filipino, wrote back, according to screenshots she shared on X.

Schumer, who has not responded to The Independent’s request for comment, then sent multiple lengthy paragraphs to Jackson in response. “You are not educated about the history of the Jewish people and of the conflict,” Schumer said. “Thanks for expressing what you were upset about. I’d like to express that I think you are antisemitic.

“One day when you realise how you acted in this moment I will accept your apology,” she added. “And when you use this exchange to try and raise your profile and get shine, you are showing yourself.”

There has been a terrifying uptick of antisemitism happening both in the US and globally since the 7 October attacks. But what wasn’t lost on both Jackson and her followers was that Schumer decided to explain to a Black woman what it’s like to feel threatened in America.

“Imagine coming into a Black person’s DMs trying to lecture them about what it’s like to feel unsafe,” Jackson wrote. “I don’t let my mom walk around alone because she’s Asian, like do you really think that you, a blonde, blue-eyed white woman, have some sort of claim on feeling unsafe”.

When approached for comment by The Independent, a representative for Jackson said: “Asia responded to everything online. Please reference her posts on X.”

Dr Bernice King looks up at the statue of her father Dr Martin Luther King Jr (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Dr Bernice King looks up at the statue of her father Dr Martin Luther King Jr (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Just days before Schumer labelled Jackson “uneducated” during their disagreement, Dr Bernice King, the daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, also responded to Schumer after she posted a video of the late civil rights activist speaking out against antisemitism.

Schumer posted a clip from one of MLK’s impassioned speeches, in which he called on people to “take a stand against antisemitism because it’s wrong, it’s unjust, and it’s evil.”

On 31 October, Dr King said that Schumer’s clip failed to acknowledge MLK’s history of challenging white supremacy and advocating for peace.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

“Amy: Certainly, my father was against antisemitism, as am I,” the CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change began her response.

“He also believed militarism (along with racism and poverty) to be among the interconnected Triple Evils. I am certain he would call for Israel’s bombing of Palestinians to cease, for hostages to be released and for us to work for true peace, which includes justice.”

On Tuesday, Schumer said she was “accepting love and feedback” in her latest Instagram post by turning on her comments, which had up until then been disabled.

The comments didn’t hold back.

“Thanks for using your platform to show everyone that the only people who matter and the only lives that matter are the ones that look like you,” read one. “It must be nice writing this statement and posting about the conflict from the comfort of your multi-million dollar home,” said another. A third wrote: “We hear you, we understand the trauma Jewish community had to go through, but what is happening in today’s date in Gaza, it’s BRUTAL.”

Schumer’s Instagram has since gone radio silent.