At the end of January, Netflix released Chelsea Does, a documentary series following Chelsea Handler as she explores four hot-button issues: marriage, race, drugs, and technology.
The series has received mixed reviews so far, but the third episode, Chelsea Does…Racism, was the most widely panned. Vulture called the episode “false and frustrating,” EW noted that it was “all easy righteousness…and easier targets,” and Vogue described the entire series as “meandering [and] anticlimactic.”
They’re all pretty much right. But in addition to that, Handler—who lives in Bel Air—manages to imply throughout the episode that in her 21 years of living in Los Angeles, she’s rarely, if ever, set foot in any neighborhoods that aren’t full of rich white people.
In Chelsea Does…Racism, Handler—accompanied by friend and fellow comedian Loni Love—devotes about 20 minutes to driving through different L.A. neighborhoods. The exercise is her response to an admonition from Rev. Al Sharpton to “not self-segregate.” Her heart is perhaps in the right place, but Chelsea…oh, Chelsea. Things went very wrong.
Handler visits the following five areas, and here’s what she has to say about each:
Bel Air: “L.A. is set up in a way that it’s so many white people on one side of town! Like, the Palisades, Brentwood, Santa Monica…”
On the way to MacArthur Park, through Little Ethiopia and Koreatown: “I had no idea that they have these little sub-communities everywhere!”
MacArthur Park: “This is a beautiful part of town. I mean, this is fucking depressing.”
Koreatown, inside bakery Kim Bang Ah: “I’ve never been to Koreatown at all.”
Westwood, at hookah cafe Habibi: (smoking hookah) “Why do people start doing this? It seems complicated. Like, why not just have a glass of wine?”
Fairfax: “I never really hang out around here. But there is a good deli.”
And there you have it. Chelsea Handler’s introduction to L.A. Welcome! We hope you’ll come visit us again soon.