When actors attend the Academy Awards, they know they may be facing jokes at their expense. The hosts of the show have a room filled with the world’s biggest stars, of course they’re going to use them as fodder to get a laugh or two and keep the mood light between each presentation. Sometimes though, fans of the actors (or even the actors themselves) don’t understand this concept, and they get worked up when their favorite celebrities find themselves at the butt of a joke. That’s what happened on Sunday night after Amy Schumer did an innocent bit with Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, and the backlash got so bad, she had to comment on it the next day.
It went down in the last third of the show, when Schumer walked into the audience to give credit to the seat fillers, who occupy celebrity seats when they get up for air or go to the bathroom throughout the night to keep the audience looking full. In order to fully explain their role, Schumer decided to just grab a seat filler in action. The comedian then approached a surprised-looking Dunst and pulled her out of her chair. “Can we get you up, honey?” Schumer asked Dunst as the audience laughed. “Seat fillers, love them.” Schumer then took Dunst’s seat and started chatting with Plemons. “You know that was my wife, Amy?” Plemons asked, to which Schumer responded, “You’re married to that seat filler? Oh, that’s weird.”
It’s a fine joke, not a great one, but what you would expect from an award show. The implication is that Dunst is clearly not a seat filler, so it’s funny Schumer would mistake her as one. Unfortunately, many people did not understand the irony, and Twitter erupted in anger toward Schumer for “disrespecting” Dunst. People called the joke “fucking tasteless,” with one person even referencing the Will Smith/Chris Rock moment from earlier in the broadcast, saying, “Surely if anyone should have punched anyone last night it was Jesse Plemons after Amy Schumer called Queen Kirsten Dunst ‘seat filler.’” The backlash got so bad, Schumer felt the need to address it, posting a note on Instagram on Monday morning. “Hey I appreciate the love for Kirsten Dunst,” she wrote. “I love her too! It was a choreographed bit she was in on. Wouldn’t disrespects that queen like that.”
As of now, Dunst hasn’t responded to the backlash or Schumer’s response, but don’t be surprised if she never does. Likely, the whole thing was a non-event for Dunst, considering she agreed to participate in the bit from the beginning.