Although few details were previously known about Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Showtime series, “Who Is America?,” it has already prompted embarrassing headlines about current and former politicians across the country who were featured on the show’s splashy Sunday night debut.
Yet, in an awkward spotlight on the show itself, some viewers, including BuzzFeed’s Summer Anne Burton, have noticed its writing staff: an all-male group that includes the controversial former “Inside Amy Schumer” writer Kurt Metzger.
Metzger went to the mat to defend Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) comic Aaron Glazer in a long, angry and sometimes incoherent rant on social media in August 2016. Glazer faced rape accusations by several women and was the subject of an internal UCB investigation. He was fired.
Metzger reacted with a juvenile Facebook post mocking the credibility of women who do not immediately report sexual assault to police. His comments on gender-based violence sowed division in the entertainment industry more than a year before the Me Too movement took off.
“ALL women are as reliable as my bible! A book that, much like a women, is incapable of lying!” Metzger wrote. (His full post and numerous follow-ups, with all their exclamation points, are not worth republishing in their entirety. You can find more here.) Regarding the UCB’s handling of the investigation, Metzger tweeted, “What are they, the Catholic church???” Later he suggested that being falsely accused of rape is worse than the actual act.
The “Who Is America?” gig appears to be the first TV writing job Metzger has secured since the 2016 controversy, which led Schumer to publicly distance herself from her friend and former employee. (She did not fire him, as the show had already gone on hiatus.)
Metzger clarified his incendiary comments a few days after first posting them online, saying that he could have made his point “more tactfully.”
“Why did the story of what actually happened come out AFTER this guy is declared a rapist? I will listen to ANY victim’s account,” he wrote. “My point was that no one seems disturbed by this. No one sees that down the road, next time we might get it wrong.”
Months later, Metzger said he did not delete “any of the posts that got me fucked with by the social justice set,” rather the site took some of them down following complaints.
The bulk of Metzger’s social media presence since the controversy has been dedicated to promoting his stand-up performances.
Showtime declined to comment.