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August 31, 2022 10:26 am

Amy Schumer Says She Dealt With Antisemitic Bullying as Child

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Amy Schumer. Photo: Mario Santor via Wikimedia Commons.

Actress and stand-up comedian Amy Schumer was bullied for being Jewish when she was a teenager living with her mother in Long Island, New York, she said in a new interview with The New Yorker.

The creator and talent behind the Emmy-winning comedy sketch show “Inside Amy Schumer” first lived with her parents in the Upper East Side in Manhattan but when they divorced, she moved with her mother to Long Island and was raised in Rockville Centre in Nassau County. She told The New Yorker that other kids in the neighborhood would call her “Amy Jewmer” and throw pennies at her because she was Jewish. She explained, “The diocese was in our town. Everybody who wasn’t really Irish Catholic, they were, like, ‘You’re not one of us.’”

She also opened up in the interview about previously suffering from trichotillomania — a disorder in which a person has urges to pull out body hair — and having a bald spot on her head until today, which she jokingly said, “a yarmulke would cover.”

Schumer’s Jewish paternal ancestors hail from Ukraine and her mother, who is from a Protestant background, converted to Judaism before marrying her father. In 2017, the writer and star of “Trainwreck” discovered on the PBS series “Finding Your Roots” that she also has the same Hebrew name, Chaya, as her great-grandmother.

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Schumer previously opened up about her high school years, 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.”

She once said about her antisemitic experiences in Long Island: “Judaism, for me, is just another area where I didn’t feel accepted or like I belonged. I really did: even with the parents of my friends, there was a ton of antisemitism going on, openly and in front of me. There’s definitely some residual shame that I grew up with because of it.”

The topic of being bullied at school for having Jewish roots is also addressed in the Hulu comedy-drama series “Life & Beth,” which Schumer wrote and stars in.

She also talks in her interview with The New Yorker about her relationship with her father, Gordon, who has multiple sclerosis, suffers from memory loss, and lives in a care facility in lower Manhattan. She said they speak every day and usually more than once.

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