The 94th Academy Awards will always be remembered for Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about the Best Actor winner’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
While viewers around the world tried to figure out what had just happened, Oscars co-host, comedian Amy Schumer, returned to the stage, saying, “Did I miss anything? There’s like a different vibe in here.”
Then, the Life & Beth star went right into a joke where she poked fun at Kirsten Dunst, which outraged some fans. Schumer received so many death threats that the Secret Service got involved.
Amy Schumer’s seat filler joke offended Kirsten Dunst’s fans
Dunst is perhaps best known for her role as Mary Jane in the Spider-Man franchise. The 40-year-old attended the ceremony with her husband, Jesse Plemons. Both actors were nominated for their roles in the Netflix film, The Power of the Dog.
Schumer approached the couple, who share two children. She started to explain to the audience the role seat fillers play in the production of a live show.
The 40-year-old comedian pulled Dunst out of her seat. Schumer jokingly said, “Here’s a seat filler.” Then, she sat down in the unoccupied chair. Plemons questioned the Trainwreck star, saying, “You know that was my wife?” The comedian responded, “You’re married to that seat filler. Oh, that’s weird.”
What was meant to be a light-hearted joke angered a lot of fans. According to Today, the day after the show aired, Schumer posted on her Instagram story, “Hey I appreciate the love for Kirsten Dunst. I love her too! That was a choreographed bit she was in on. Wouldn’t disrespect the queen like that.”
The Secret Service became involved with threats against Amy Schumer
Yahoo reported that SiriusXM radio host Howard Stern talked with Schumer about her experience hosting the controversial awards show.
The I Feel Pretty actor revealed the reason she posted on Instagram about the seat filler joke was that she felt she had to clarify that it was staged. Schumer explained she was getting serious death threats from people who were angry that she “disrespected” Dunst.
The comedian claimed, “They were so bad the Secret Service reached out to me about that bit. I was like, ‘I think you have the wrong number. It’s Amy, not Will.'” Schumer said the LAPD also reached out to her, telling Stern, “The misogyny is unbelievable.”
The Emmy Award winner confirmed her point of view when she appeared after the Oscars at the Aces of Comedy series in Las Vegas. She commented on the altercation between Rock and Smith, saying, “All I can say is that it was really sad, and I think it says so much about toxic masculinity.”
Schumer ran her jokes by the actors before the show aired
Schumer, who started as a stand-up comedian in the early 2000s, has a reputation for self-deprecating humor that often makes herself the brunt of a lot of her jokes. As the host of the Academy Awards, she turned the tables and poked fun at some of the distinguished actors in the room.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who has a long history of dating younger women, was not offended when Schumer targeted him at the Oscars. She quipped, “He’s done so much to fight climate change and leave behind a cleaner, greener planet… for his girlfriends.” Schumer continued, “Because he’s older and they’re younger. Ok, you get it.”
According to US Magazine, the comedian asked the Titanic star beforehand if it was alright to tell the joke. He casually said, “Go ahead.”
Schumer even had a joke about Smith that did not involve the “slap heard around the world.” The Independent reported that the comedian told Stern she also got permission from the King Richard star and the Williams’ sisters to tell the joke, “After years of Hollywood ignoring women’s stories, this year, we finally got a movie about the incredible Williams sisters’ … dad.”