Chelsea Handler on using her show to make a global impact

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Chelsea Handler at Mashable's Social Good Summit on September 18, 2016.
Chelsea Handler at Mashable’s Social Good Summit on September 18, 2016.

Image: Christopher Gregory/mashable

Early on at Mashable‘s seventh-annual Social Good Summit in New York City, the audience was treated to an informative and funny conversation with Chelsea Handler.  

The comedian discussed the global impact of her Netflix series Chelsea, the presidential election and the importance of using her media platform to make a difference.

While Chelsea Lately, Handler’s former late-night talk show on E!, focused on celebrity gossip, her new Netflix show Chelsea addresses a slew of other issues. When moderator Saba Hamedy asked Handler why she wanted to move on from covering Hollywood scoops, Handler replied, “Because it was boring.” 

Image: Christopher Gregory/mashable

Chelsea on Netflix and its global impact

Handler went into more detail on growing out of her Chelsea Lately persona and how she wanted Chelsea to be more meaningful.

“[Chelsea Lately] was a lot of fun for while, and it was a great learning experience … But, like anything, you kind of want to evolve and grow up a little bit more … If I’m gonna be in the medium … then I wanted to do something a little bit more thoughtful, that had some sort of impact and footprint in a good way, and so I thought, let me do a show that can encompass more of that.

Because Chelsea airs in 190 countries and 22 languages, Handler explained how she has had to take on new responsibility and acknowledge the differences of other countries, all while striving to be informative and entertaining.

“There’s more sameness than there is difference, always.”

As part of the show, Handler gets to travel the world and visit a variety of countries, which has taught her about the surprising uniformity across the globe.

“The biggest takeaway is always how similar we all are, that we’re all human beings, that everybody’s got a family that they love,” she said. “There’s more sameness than there is difference, always.”

“If I can do show where I can do that in a comedic way then, you know, all my dreams have come true. And remain single – all my dreams have come true.”

Image: Christopher Gregory/mashable

Reaching her audience

While some have warned Handler that pushing her political ideologies in her show could narrow her audience, Handler is not concerned.

People always say, well you’re going to alienate a certain audience if you’re too pro-Hillary … I’m like, that’s all right. I don’t want those people watching me. And I think it’s so important that I wont shut up about it. I will not. I don’t care how annoying or loud I am. It’s important to be loud. That’s not an option for this country. Then we’re going backwards. Then everything we worked for for years and years and years is going to be taken away from us … So I think, if you have a soapbox, stand on it, and scream.

“If you have a soapbox, stand on it, and scream.”

Handler has quite a large soapbox with her Netflix show, and she is taking the utmost advantage of it – she said her show aims to make world issues digestible to people who don’t understand them.

“The contribution I want to make is through my show and talking about issues that people are scared to tackle,” Handler said. 

“I want to make people more educated. And not only educate them, but … inform people on how to get involved with something that they really care about.”

Image: CHRISTOPHER GREGORY/MASHABLe

How Handler thinks others can make a difference

Handler encouraged people to get involved with making a difference by taking advantage of whatever soapbox they make have.

“It’s a waste of time to just be a passerby.”

“You’ve got to tap into your inner voice, because what’s the point of being here?” she said.

“You know deep down what the right thing to do is. And you should do it, and make sure you believe in what you’re doing, and you feel strong about your opinion. And you’re informed about your opinion and you’re willing to learn.”

“It’s a waste of time to just be a passerby. That’s no good for anybody. You’re not making an impression and you’re not leaving an impression.”

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