Amy Schumer Takes on Football’s Rape Culture With ‘Friday Night Lights’ Parody
In Amy Schumer’s imagined life as wife to a high school football coach, she needs an ever-growing glass of wine to wash down the team’s penchant for sexual assault.
Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer began its third season with a spoof mirroring Friday Night Lights—titled “Football Night Lights” in case the reference to the hit 2006 series wasn’t obvious enough—in which the head coach motivates his players with an altered version of the show’s tagline, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. ”
In Schumer’s version, Josh Charles’ portrayal of Coach Thompson brings a new philosophy to reluctant students: “Clear eyes, full hearts, don’t rape.”
Known for pushing the envelope, Schumer often uses humor to delve into sensitive subjects other comedians might shy away from, and she was well aware that this premiere sketch might ruffle a few feathers.
“You might look at this scene and think we’re making light of something serious, but we really are trying to educate,” Schumer said of the sketch at a Tribeca panel on Sunday.
That education comes through Coach Thompson’s explanation that rape is never acceptable—not at away games, when a woman is dressed in a sexy Halloween costume, or when a woman is drunk.
Despite his reasonable request, the anti–sexual assault rule doesn’t go over well with the players, who immediately protest, “But coach, we play football,” noting the prominence of professional sports players linked to domestic and sexual violence cases.
While Coach Thompson refuses to budge on his “no rape” stance, when it comes time to motivate his players to victory, his locker-room speech promoting on-the field force sounds an awful lot like an endorsement for exerting dominance in a sexual situation as well.
“It’s about violently dominating anyone that stands between you and what you want. You gotta get yourself into the mind-set that you are gods! And you are entitled to this!” the coach shouts. “That other team? They ain’t gonna just lay out there and give it to you! You gotta go out there and take it.”
The players are left more riled up and aggressive than ever after the speech but head out to the field chanting his “don’t rape” mantra.