Oscars host Amy Schumer faces backlash for cut 'banned' joke

Oscars host Amy Schumer has faced a backlash for telling a joke about the Rust on-set shooting tragedy she says was banned from the ceremony.

The comic was one of three hosts for this past month's 94th Academy Awards, along with Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes. While the trio joked about some controversial topics – including Will Smith slapping Chris Rock moments after it happened – Schumer said one subject was off-limits.

According to Vanity Fair, Schumer said Oscars producers cut a joke where she would have made light of the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on set of the film Rust last year.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

The incident remains under investigation over on-set safety protocols, as star and producer Alec Baldwin had the firearm in his hand when it discharged towards Hutchins and fatally struck her.

The incident sparked widespread calls for changes in the way weapons are handled on set, with the likes of Dwayne Johnson promising to no longer use live firearms during production.

At a stand-up comedy show in Las Vegas this week, Amy Schumer referenced the shooting in the context of Oscar-nominated film Don't Look Up as a punchline.

Photo credit: Mat Hayward - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mat Hayward - Getty Images

"I wasn't allowed to say any of that, but you can just come up and [slap] someone," she reportedly said in reference to Smith slapping Rock on stage.

Schumer has since been criticised for making light of the Rust shooting, especially as she'd previously mentioned in social media posts that she'd been "triggered and traumatised" by the incident involving Smith and Rock.

Many pointed to Schumer's history of problematic jokes about race, in addition to the way her joke about Rust could be seen as reducing the tragedy of Hutchins' death.

"Didn't they include Halyna Hutchins in the In Memorium? And this is how Amy Schumer was going to honor that poor woman at the freaking Oscars? (Hutchins incidentally was Ukrainian). These are the jokes comedians are crying about not telling. This is repugnant," writer Azalea Dunn pointed out.

Photo credit: Neilson Barnard - Getty Images
Photo credit: Neilson Barnard - Getty Images

"One of the few decent decisions Oscars folk made was to tell her to keep this shitty joke under wraps & she still manages to find a way to put it out in the world. Halyna Hutchins’ death was a scant 6 months ago. Her family can see this. Wtf is wrong w you, Amy Schumer," writer Kaleena Rivera added.

Writer Nola Marianna Ojomu pointed to the insensitivity: "Wait, sorry… Amy Schumer wanted to joke about someone's actual death (?!?!?!?!) but was talking about how triggered and traumatised she was by a slap?!

"How do you think hearing this makes Halyna Hutchins' grieving family feel?! I-"

Schumer has yet to comment further on the controversy.

Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes hosted the 94th Academy Awards from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, airing live in the US on ABC and in the UK on Sky Showcase and Sky Cinema Select.

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