Last week, Amy Schumer became the first of several high-profile comics to debut a brand new comedy special exclusively on Netflix in 2017. More are soon to follow, though Schumer’s The Leather Special is currently facing a deluge of not-so-nice press thanks to a mixed bag of critical reviews and what appears to be an alt-right (i.e. “white nationalist”) group on Reddit. At least, that’s according to separate reporting by Decider and Splitsider after The Leather Special‘s incredibly low user ratings were first noticed on Netflix.
As of Tuesday, Decider determined Schumer’s special had an average rating of 1.35 stars — a figure they reached by combing through all 876 “Member Reviews” on Netflix’s website. (As of this writing, however, that number has jumped to 1330 total reviews by Netflix subscribers. The average rating also increased by a slight margin, though not by much.) Of the reviews surveyed, 33 were for five stars, 17 for four, 22 for three, 85 for two, 710 for one, and 9 for zero.
Decider rightfully noted many of the negative reviews could be ascribed to misogyny, especially since many of the user comments had more to say about Schumer’s physical appearance than the special itself. Splitsider, meanwhile, did some digging and discovered concerted efforts on the r/The_Donald Reddit forum to bury Leather Special‘s ratings average into the ground. “To those that still have Netflix,” wrote one user, “please go and 1 star that piece of shit.” So just as anti-Schumer Redditors did with her 2016 book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, they proceeded to tank the special’s ratings.
Netflix subscribers and Reddit notwithstanding, The Leather Special did divide many critics. The Los Angeles Times thought it was “mostly full of the unapologetic raunch that’s contributed to [Schumer’s] success,” but ultimately felt dirtier than it was funny. Vulture and The Daily Beast, meanwhile, praised the comic’s latest attempt to combine her more recent, politically volatile material with her previous raunchier work. In that sense, Schumer deserves plenty of recognition for what she accomplishes with The Leather Special — not that anything could justify a hateful, sexist campaign to destroy her favor with Netflix.
UPDATE: Schumer took to Instagram to address the initial and followup stories regarding The Leather Special‘s low user ratings on Netflix, and Splitsider‘s subsequent investigation. “I am embarrassed for the ‘journalists’ who report on trolls activities as if it’s news,” she wrote, adding her followers should instead read the Splitsider article about Reddit’s “organized trolls” and their efforts. “I want to thank them,” Schumer said of the trolls. “It makes me feel so powerful and dangerous and brave.”
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I am so proud of my special and grateful to all the people spreading love on line 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! 😘😘😘