Chelsea Handler Amazed Racists Aren’t Just ‘Dumb’ Southerners

Appearing on Tuesday’s NBC Today to promote her new documentary series on Netflix, left-wing comedian and talk show host Chelsea Handler highlighted the topic of one episode: “...you think you know about racism and then you delve into it and you kind of realize how little you do know and then how embarrassed you are about how little you know. And how embarrassing people in this country are when you talk to them.”

Handler continued: “Because people, I think associate like racism with really like dumb, you know, people from the south who aren't educated or – ” Co-host Matt Lauer interjected: “Ignorant racism.” Handler added: “Right. But I met with a lot of really like educated, intellectual racists, which I find amazing, so I wanted to illustrate that.”                     

Later in the interview, Lauer touted how Handler “went to Peru to do hallucinogenic drugs” for another episode. Handler joked: “...the great thing about Netflix is that they will fund my personal life and put it on camera....I said I wanted to do one on drugs....because I have a very close relationship with drugs and I've experienced so many...”

In addition to the documentary series, Lauer noted that Handler would be “doing another talk show for Netflix.” Handler explained how it would be different from her last show : “It’s not going to be anything like Chelsea Lately....I'm using these documentaries as kind of a bridge to show people like tonally where I'm going. It’s not too – like I don't want people to think I'm trying to become Barbara Walters because I wouldn't want to become her, no one can.”

Handler has a history of being embroiled in controversy due to her vulgar brand of humor.

Here are excerpts of the January 19 exchange:

8:41 AM ET

MATT LAUER: We are back now, 8:40, with the always unpredictable Chelsea Handler. No pressure. She spent the better part of last year filming Chelsea Does, a documentary series for Netflix. It covering four thought-provoking topics....I like this concept, I really do. I was reading about it last night, four very different topics. Did you know a lot about each one of these topics before you started?

CHELSEA HANDLER: Well, I thought I knew a little bit about certain topics – like you think you know about racism and then you delve into it and you kind of realize how little you do know and then how embarrassed you are about how little you know. And how embarrassing people in this country are when you talk to them. Because people, I think associate like racism with really like dumb, you know, people from the south who aren't educated or –

LAUER: Ignorant racism.

HANDLER: Right. But I met with a lot of really like educated, intellectual racists, which I find amazing, so I wanted to illustrate that.

(...)

LAUER: You went to Peru to do hallucinogenic drugs, was that part of the show or was that just a weekend?

HANDLER: That’s an interesting question, and the great thing about Netflix is that they will fund my personal life and put it on camera.

LAUER: Tell me about that trip.

HANDLER: Well, I said I wanted to do one on drugs. So my documentary on drugs obviously because I have a very close relationship with drugs and I've experienced so many, and I thought why not put myself on camera looking, you know, bad or not flattering because nobody in this business nobody really likes to do that and I think I have no problem with it. So I did a lot of drugs on camera that were supervised, like mixing sleeping pills with alcohol, just to illustrate to people what you look like when you're doing that.

LAUER: Scary?

HANDLER: Not scary, but it's not pretty, it’s not attractive. And then I said to Netflix, “Hey, I also want to go to Peru and do Iowsaka.” And they’re like, “Go.” And I’m, “This is the best place I’ve ever worked in my life.”  

LAUER: Iowaska being?

CHANDLER: Is the drug, yeah.

LAUER: You’re doing another talk show for Netflix.

CHANDLER: I am.

LAUER: Is it going to be like Chelsea Lately?

CHANDLER: No.

LAUER: No?  

CHANDLER: It’s not going to be anything like Chelsea Lately.

LAUER: That’s great.

CHANDLER: I'm using these documentaries as kind of a bridge to show people like tonally where I'm going. It’s not too – like I don't want people to think I'm trying to become Barbara Walters because I wouldn't want to become her, no one can.

LAUER: Gonna leave it at that, alright?

CHANDLER: Yes, let’s.

LAUER: Better to just let that go.

CyberAlerts Liberals & Democrats Racism Online Media NBC Today Video Netflix Matt Lauer Chelsea Handler