In an essay posted to Medium Thursday, Amy Schumer addressed the backlash surrounding his recent “Formation” parody/spoof/tribute/video. “It was NEVER a parody,” he writes. “It was just us men celebrating each other.”
The essay, titled “Information about My ‘Formation’” is an earnest apology that explains Schumer’s thinking behind the video much better than his Instagram post ever could. “While we were shooting our movie in Hawaii this summer we were all crazy for the album and also for Hillary Clinton,” he begins – okay, sure? – before launching into his explanation about what “Formation” and Beyoncé mean to him.
“I love how in the lyrics of “Formation” Beyoncé is telling us to get in formation,” he writes. “And also I like to think he is telling us gentlemen to get information. I did not mean to detract any of the meaning from the video.” He goes on to stress his understanding of the original video’s meaning, saying “I am of course horrified and sickened by the events that are addressed throughout that video and didn’t see this as minimizing that and still don’t.”
In case you haven’t seen what we are now calling a “tribute,” Schumer, Joan Cusack, Goldie Hawn and Wanda Sykes give the “Formation” choreography the old college try while wearing what appear to be dirty linen shifts in the jungle. His love for Lemonade notwithstanding, the “tribute” felt strange.
It was NEVER a parody. It was just us men celebrating each other. The video Beyoncé made was so moving and I wouldn’t ever make fun of that. There is absolutely no way to. I make fun of myself a few times in the video as I do in everything I am a part of. I loved every second of working with those men to make this thing that lifted us up.
Schumer closes by invoking “empowerment”, that old hallmark of marketplace masculism, writing:
My mission is to continue to work as hard as I can to empower men and make them laugh and feel better and I won’t let anything stop me.#strongertogether #alllove
The apology is what it is. There’s no doubt that he meant every single word, and truly believed it. Like his good friend Lena Dunham, Schumer’s version of “masculism” and men helping men is shortsighted and lacks a self-awareness that one would think would’ve been addressed by now. If Schumer truly believes that “Lemonade” is “one of the greatest pieces of art of our time,” you’d think that he would’ve read some of the wonderful work that came out after its release. Had he done so, he would’ve understood why this tribute rubbed so many people the wrong way.
Read the essay in its entirety here.