The first stories about the low star ratings on the special were reported on fairly straightforwardly, like in this post by Decider, who stated that “33 subscribers gave it 5 stars, 17 gave it 4 stars, 22 gave it 3 three stars, 85 gave it 2 stars, 710 users give it 1 star, and 9 gave it zero stars.” Decider allowed that “a chunk of these negative reviews can be attributed to misogyny—female comics are frequently criticized for making certain jokes that men make all the time,” then added that “a large percentage of these terrible reviews are being written by self-proclaimed Schumer supporters.” Oh, someone on the internet labeled themselves as something? That’s binding.
An article from Splitsider points in a completely different direction. It appears that the bad reviews are a concerted effort amongst organized trolls:
A quick Reddit search — particularly in the alt-right r/The_Donald subreddit — tells a very different story than what the above outlets are reporting, with posts like this one and this one encouraging people to give Schumer’s 2016 book a bad review on Amazon, plus all of these calls to give her special a one-star review:
This is very similar to what happened to the trailer for the female led Ghostbusters after it was posted on YouTube. Haters built automated bots to down vote it, making it the most unpopular trailer in YouTube history.
Amy Schumer responded to Splitsider’s report, and seems far more enraged by journalists than trolling:
I am so proud of my special and grateful to all the people spreading love online about it. I am the first female comic who is selling out arenas all over the world and so grateful for that. I am embarrassed for the “journalists” who report on trolls activities as if it’s news. It’s indicative of administration right now. Anyone who reported that “viewers aren’t happy” with my special, it would have been cool if you did a moment of research before posting. The alt right organized trolls attack everything I do. Read the @splitsider article. They organize to get my ratings down. Meeting in sub Reddit rooms. They tried on my book and movies and tv show And I want to thank them. It makes me feel so powerful and dangerous and brave. It reminds me what I’m saying is effective and bring more interest to my work and their obsession with me keeps me going. I am only alarmed by the people printing their organized trolling as “news” this is what the current administration wants. So this post has nothing against the trolls. I thank you trolls so much. It fills me with hope and power to see you all furiously posting so as always accuse me of whatever lies you want. Call me a whale. Call me a thief and I will continue to rise and fight and lead. I know who I am. I am strong and beautiful and will use my voice my whole time on this earth. Journalists do better it’s embarrassing. Trolls see you on the next one!
Decider wasn’t wrong when it said female comics have to deal with misogyny, they just wildly underestimated its scale.