Amy Schumer Joke-Stealing Controversy Gets Weird

One of the comedians backtracks, sort of
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2016 10:41 AM CST
Updated Jan 22, 2016 10:57 AM CST
Amy Schumer Joke-Stealing Controversy Gets Weird
Comedian Amy Schumer attends the 2015 BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Friday Oct. 30, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Earlier this week, a Twitter discussion between three comedians accused Amy Schumer of stealing jokes. Wendy Liebman, Kathleen Madigan, and Tammy Pescatelli all took part, per Refinery 29, though Pescatelli seemed to be the most vocal and many of the tweets were ultimately deleted. Schumer responded on Twitter Wednesday: "On my life, I have never and would never steal a joke." The same day, she went on Jim Norton's SiriusXM show to further defend herself (It "would be so stupid for me to do that," she said in reference to stealing material), and even offered to take a polygraph test to prove her innocence, Mediaite reports. By Tuesday, Liebman (who started the Twitter conversation) had backtracked, telling Death and Taxes she believed Schumer simply "came up with the same joke" after she did, and on Twitter she clarified that she had never actually accused Schumer of stealing. Now, Pescatelli also seems to be backing down ... sort of.

Pescatelli went on Norton's show the day after Schumer, where she admitted that she "was the last to the party, and ... drank the most, and was the loudest. ... I probably should have just kind of stayed out of it and kept my mouth shut. I shouldn't have accused somebody." She admitted that "parallel thinking" is very common in the comedy world, and seemed to imply that Schumer's writers could be the ones responsible for "lifting" material from others, rather than Schumer herself. "I went too deep," she said. "It went too far, and for that I'm super apologetic." But, the same day, she also went on Jenny McCarthy's Sirius show and said that "underground, this has been being said for a while," that many other comedians have thanked her for bringing it into the spotlight, and that she wants Schumer (who should "stay with the movie stars") to succeed "on her own material." As for Madigan, she's apparently deleted much of her part in the original conversation and hasn't said anything since, but she does still have a retweet up on her page noting that "stealing jokes is despicable," though not specifically mentioning Schumer. (Click for the time Schumer humiliated a teen.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.