Former Netflix talk show host says there are ‘too many white men’ late at night

By Doug Norrie | 5 seconds ago

Are there too many people of the same type hosting late-night shows right now? Chelsea Handler certainly thinks so and had no problem talking about it recently when she was replacing one of those people. The comedian has always been outspoken and this time, while standing in for Jimmy Kimmel and speaking to Variety, she expressed her “concern” about how the late night TV slate was filling up on nearly every network. Whether this is a set piece for a new gig or a legitimate issue she’s struggling with isn’t entirely clear, but it’s hard to argue with the premise, especially given how many of men who currently fill some of the biggest late-night gigs.

Chelsea Handler covered as guest host for Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week with this show reaching part of its summer programming season. During her stint, she was tasked with covering a number of hot topics that have arisen over the past week and had no problem expressing strong opinions. But then, while chatting with Variety, Handler explained how “white men” basically had a monopoly on late-night talk show hosting duties and how the whole genre could be a bit of a shakeup in terms of looks. Was she throwing her own hat in the ring in this regard? Maybe a little bit. Check out what Chelsea Handler had to say about the situation and her own potential return to late night hosting:

“I feel like it’s time…to represent women and remind people why it’s so important to be strong and to be tireless and to stand up and say something. This comforts a lot of people when they have someone speaking for them – you know, not just a white guy, who I’m sure is on our side, but that’s just different…men’s opinions white men are irrelevant… There are too many white men doing the same job…”

chelsea manager

Wrapped up in that discussion, Chelsea Handler was also quick enough to say that she had no formal discussions with any network about returning to the late-night scene or if it would be in the actual cards. She has experience, of course, in this area having hosted Chelsea lately! for seven seasons on EI from 2007 to 2014. Ratings-wise, the show started strong but steadily declined over the course of its run before ultimately being canceled by the network. It followed different elements of various late-night beats with Handler performing a monologue, hosting a panel discussion on a variety of topics, and then interviewing a guest.

When it comes to her most recent claims about the homogenous nature of the late-night talk show scene, it’s hard to argue with Chelsea Handler’s premise. Current lineup on the networks includes the Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Myers, James Corden (though he’s stepping away), John Oliver and Trevor Noah. Noah is African American, although Chelsea Handler is likely referring to the hosts of major broadcast networks and Noah’s The daily show aired on Comedy Central.

It remains to be seen what will become of these last comments. Again, this could be a deft game to insert himself into the conversation to replace Corden or just get his own gig. Or maybe she expresses a legitimate concern about the nature of the late-night hosting ecosystem. It’s sometimes hard to tell with these things. In the short term, are things likely to change on this front? No, probably not.

Javier E. Swan