Last night, I saw something trending on social media. It really wasn’t the type of thing that has never happened before, but actress and comedienne Amy Schumer was exercising on the streets of Greenville, South Carolina, when a man by the name of Leslie Brewer ran up to her and pointed his camera at her. She asked him to stop and he didn’t listen, saying, “No it’s America and we paid for you.” At that point, Schumer said that she would no longer allow fans to take photos with her.
Brewer’s side of the story is that when he spotted her ahead of him at a crosswalk, he decided to take an Instagram video. He walked up to her and began recording. Now I didn’t see in any story I read that he asked her prior to doing so, but according to Brewer, she got upset with him. He claims that she cussed him out. Ironically, the video he took was edited. All we can hear is Schumer saying, “That’s rude,” and asking him to delete the video, but as she says that, Brewer quickly says, “Sorry” as he gives the camera a big smile and a thumbs up. Then it immediately cuts to him saying, “And then she got mad at me.”
First off, I am sadly not surprised at this kind of behavior and I completely believe that what Amy said did happen. Some of us as fans often feel we have this sense of entitlement when it comes to being able to take photos, receive autographs, etc., from celebrities and they’re supposed to just accept it.
It would almost be tolerable if the behavior was from a child or a teenager. But these are supposedly grown adults acting this way.
Now, the behavior alone is bad enough. But the response and attitude from many is even worse.
First, the comment Amy says Brewer made. “No it’s America and we paid for you.” I get the nature of that comment. The belief is that this is a “free country” and that we as fans “are the reason that celebrities are who they are.” The reason I completely believe he made this statement or something similar is because way too often, I’ve heard people say that about celebrities. There is this notion that they “would be nothing without us.”
That’s odd. I’ll be honest to say that I’ve never seen any of Amy’s movies. Not for a lack of a desire to do so, but my wife and I just haven’t gotten around to it just yet. Our “to-watch” list is huge, so it will definitely happen sometime. But as far as her “being nothing without me,” well hell…she seems to be doing just fine so far.
And how many of us were with them during acting school or all the training they’ve received up to this point? That’s what got them to where they are. None of us were anywhere to be found during those times, unless you know something I don’t. So while yes, a lot of their success depends on us, it’s not like they would absolutely not exist without us. Let’s not make ourselves out to be bigger than we really are. After all, we hate for a celebrity to do that, right?
And yes, I get what the expression means. Fans are definitely a big part of a celebrity’s success. But I hate that this attitude allows people to feel they don’t have to respect someone just because he or she is a celebrity.
The reactions to this story, to me, are appalling. People are saying things like, “She needs to shut the hell up” and “She should be thankful someone wants a picture with her” and “That’s what you signed up for, Amy!” or “That’s what comes with being a celebrity” and the list goes on. One fool even said “It’s not like Amy was raped.”
Raped, huh? So it has to be that extreme before something is wrong with it. Good to know.
So, if I have this correct, because Amy is a celebrity, she is not entitled to privacy or personal space. When someone wants a picture with her, they don’t need permission. Her status as a celebrity has removed that right from her, because after all, only those taking pictures with her are DIRECTLY responsible for her success and it is only fair that the favor is returned by allowing herself to be attacked at any time?
Whenever I hear people talk about “why this country is going to hell,” they give a lot of crazy reasons, but one BIG reason is attitudes and behavior like Brewer’s. The sense of entitlement that people like Amy are obligated to allow fans to take photos and videos with her.
But it’s even deeper than that. See, when we start treating people, no matter their status, as less than people, this is when the country starts to go downhill, which has sadly began a long time ago and happens just about every day.
As usual, there’s always an excuse for the bad behavior, and the victims of that bad behavior need to “just deal with it.” Another thing we can’t seem to get right is putting the responsibility on the person committing the bad behavior, NOT the person receiving it.
While I’m glad Amy has received a lot of support about this, again, too many people are making her out to be wrong for saying (at first) that she would never allow photos to be taken with fans, with very little being said about Brewer who felt he was entitled to do this without as much as asking Amy for permission, or to not “scare the shit out of her” as she stated happened.
Even though Amy later said that she would in fact allow selfies to be taken with her if the person is nice and she gives permission, I would certainly not blame her if she chose to stick with her original statement of never doing it again.
I can imagine two types of responses to me saying this. The first would be something like, “Why are you being so nice to Amy? It’s not like she’s gonna sleep with you. No need to be her white knight.” Yes, this has been said to me, many times, whenever I say something in defense of a female celebrity or any woman I don’t know following bad behavior. Pretty sad that to point out someone being wrong and treating another human being as less than that means a person simply wants to try and sleep with them. It couldn’t be because the “suspect” of the bad behavior is simply wrong. Nah. If Amy and I never ever met (which is very likely) that wouldn’t change anything I’m saying here. I don’t have to actually meet someone to say that someone is treating them poorly.
Besides, I’m not exactly holding my breath on Amy being two minutes from starting a show at a comedy club, read this blog and cancel the damn thing to rush here to jump in bed with me. Seriously…many guys have said this to me in other instances. Is that something YOU would expect?
The second type of response has to do with me being an aspiring screenwriter. Considering that I may get the opportunity to work with or for celebrities one day, the belief is that I’m just “kissing ass” now because of that. Again, why does there have to be some ulterior motive to defending someone after someone does something wrong to them? Even before I knew I wanted to become a screenwriter, this was my attitude. People who behave like Brewer are simply embarrassing and they give the rest of us a bad name.
Personally, I would never ask a celebrity for a photo with them, mainly because of folks like this. If THEY offered, I absolutely would. But I’m intelligent enough to know that they are approached just about all day, every day, by fans wanting autographs and photos, and they’re not necessarily in the mood to do it all the time. I know many fans couldn’t care less, because it’s all about them and getting their picture, but I do care and respect that.
I don’t look at them as primarily celebrities; I look at them as PEOPLE. I ask myself if I would want that to happen to me and that makes the decision very easy on whether I would choose to invade privacy and personal space just for a picture or autograph.
A LOT of people wish they could be celebrities. Let’s just put that out there. Let’s not mince words here. This is the reason for this behavior and these entitlement attitudes. A lot of people wish they could have the money and fame as these celebrities and it bothers them that they don’t. That’s just the bottom line.
Now cue those to say, “Oh, but that’s not me…” Of course it isn’t.
One thing I notice a lot on Twitter is celebrities being attacked for some of the things they say, but interestingly enough, it often doesn’t take long before a shot at the celebrity’s status is taken. The actor or actress’ status as a celebrity is nowhere in the conversation, but that’s where people go as if it’s related in some way. This is the reason I call it jealousy. Whenever an argument or debate is happening and the conversation quickly shifts, there’s little reason for that, especially when like in this case, a person’s status is thrown back in their faces.
Not to mention, for everyone with something negative to say to Amy…the reason for that has more to do with the fact they simply don’t like her. Doesn’t take Einstein to figure that out. If the celebrity were someone they cared for, they would raise all kinds of hell about them being mistreated. But because they don’t care for Amy, this is why the lack of concern exists. But I’m not stupid. Any level of discomfort that can be brought to a celebrity just causes some people to foam at the mouths. That’s just pathetic to me.
Anyway, this is more about a person not being treated like a person and people making excuses for that. That whole “do unto others” thing apparently ONLY applies when those involved aren’t celebrities. I wonder who came up with that one.
So Amy, even if you decided never to do another selfie with a fan, I, for one, would not blame you one bit. I understand that you are a person FIRST, celebrity SECOND. Upon seeing you in person, I might wave hello from a distance and then go about my business. But I would never run up to you and force a picture without your permission.
Call me crazy, but I would want the experience to be enjoyable for you as well; not you doing it because you felt you had to. That’s a big part of why I would want the picture in the first place…only if you did also.