Chelsea Handler in Hot Water with Hitler Parody

July 17th, 2014 3:14 PM

Looks like Handler needed a laugh track for this one.

On Monday, Host Chelsea Handler featured an Adolf Hitler parody in reaction to Germany’s World Cup win during E! Channel’s “Chelsea Lately” show. To set up the show, Handler’s sidekick Chuy Bravo dressed as the Nazi dictator because “Germany won the World Cup.” Comedian Ian Karmel, amidst other panelists, joked, “I’m a Jew, but I’m still glad Germany won. It’s nice for them to have something gold that they didn’t pry out of my grandfather’s mouth.” Continues after video.

In response, the Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman described the show as “tasteless, offensive and hurtful, both to Holocaust survivors and their families and to members of the German team and all Germans.”

“This Hitler parody in itself was tasteless,” stressed Foxman, “but Chelsea Handler’s references to it throughout the program and her connecting it with Germany’s World Cup victory took the joke way overboard.”

A Holocaust survivor himself, Foxman explained that “While we try to give comedians leeway and do not believe that Nazi jokes should be completely off limits, this was an instance of taking a Hitler parody to the extreme.”

At the conclusion of the show, Chuy said, “I am dressed as Hitler as a joke, but I want everyone to know that he was a terrible man. I love Jews. Good night.” Foxman called the comment a “mock apology” with “bad taste.”

Several online news sites picked up the story and ADL’s comments, including The Hollywood Reporter, Mediaite, New York Daily News, Mashable and The Huffington Post – but without the video.

Handler has demonstrated a twisted sense of “humor” previously, from laughing over her past abortion to joking with then-9-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis about “trying to get your little nugget a** on this show.”

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.