Amy Schumer: Bullies used to call me 'Amy Jewmer' and throw pennies

The comedian said that growing up in a Catholic town she faced regular antisemitism


Amy Schumer has opened up about the antisemitism she experienced while growing up in Long Island, saying local kids would call her "Amy Jewmer".

The comedian and actress also said that she felt excluded from the local community because she was Jewish, rather than Irish Catholic, and that local kids would throw pennies at her.

Speaking to The New Yorker, Schumer explained that she spent the first nine years of her life living with her parents in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, before relocating to Nassau County in Long Island with her mother after her family went bankrupt and her parents divorced.

Schumer said that the community was not welcoming at all: “The diocese was in our town. Everybody who wasn’t really Irish Catholic, they were, like, ‘You’re not one of us.’”

She said that other children taunted her with the name "Amy Jewmer", and would throw pennies at her because she was Jewish.

Schumer's father was born to a Jewish family from Ukraine while her mother, who is from a Protestant background, converted to Judaism before her marriage. In a 2017 episode of PBS series “Finding Your Roots”, Schumer discovered that she shares her Hebrew name, Chaya, with her great-grandmother.

Schumer also spoke about previously suffering from trichotillomania — a condition in which a person has urges to pull out body hair. She still has a bald spot which, she quipped, “a yarmulke would cover.”

Schumer had previously revealed the antisemitism she experienced growing up, saying in 2015: “I had a good high school experience and everything, but my town had major antisemitism. There were a lot of things I love and a lot I didn’t love. I wouldn’t want to live there again.”

Schumer once said: “Judaism, for me, is just another area where I didn’t feel accepted or like I belonged." In an interview with the JC in 2017, she added: "I really did: even with the parents of my friends, there was a ton of antisemitism going on, openly and in front of me.”

When she left for university — Towson University, in Baltimore, where she studied theatre — it was the first time she felt that she wasn’t apologising for being Jewish. “There’s definitely some residual shame that I grew up with because of it.”

Being bullied at school for having Jewish roots is explored in the Hulu comedy-drama series “Life & Beth,” which Schumer wrote and stars in.

She also opens up in the interview with The New Yorker about her complicated relationship with her father, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and memory loss.

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