'Chelsea' Puts 2016 Election Front & Center

by Caitlin Flynn

She vowed during the series premiere of her Netflix series to help us get through the 2016 election and Chelsea Handler is staying true to her word. She kicked off the May 19 episode of Chelsea by heading to Florida to interview a room full of senior citizens about the upcoming election. Handler was pleasantly surprised to learn that the vast majority plan to vote blue, with the exception of one man who supports Trump. (Her response? "Explain yourself.") Back in the studio, Handler's interview about voting with Wanda Sykes placed a strong focus on political issues and they were later joined by President Obama's former speechwriter, Jon Favreau, who offered insight about his experiences working with both Obama and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Before directly discussing the election, Sykes made an important point about why she's not canceling her upcoming North Carolina shows due to the state's transphobic bathroom laws. Although she praised Bruce Springsteen's decision to cancel concerts in the state, Sykes noted that her own fan base consists mainly of liberal individuals who likely oppose the law. "My audience is on the same page as me. For me to not perform for them would be like turning my back on them," she explained.

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Handler and Sykes both wished they could elect Obama for another term (a sentiment that plenty of people agree with) and emphasized that, although they personally support Clinton in the 2016 election, both Democratic candidates are great and they think the top priority needs to be defeating Trump. In a frighteningly realistic comparison, Handler said that a Trump win would basically be like electing Kris Jenner: "It's a reality star who was like, 'I'm gonna run for president next.'"

When Favreau joined them, he sang the praises of Obama and described Clinton as the "hardest working" member of his administration. He also emphasized that, after three decades in the spotlight, she is an emotionally guarded individual but her public image isn't necessarily an accurate reflection of what she's like in private. When questioned about the possibility of a Trump presidency, Favreau asserted that the Celebrity Apprentice host won't prevail because the majority who elected the first black president will not elect this openly racist, misogynistic candidate.

However, Favreau had one caveat and it's an extremely important one: Everyone needs to get out and vote in November. Handler and Sykes echoed the sentiment, adding that the votes of young women and the black community will be key. This point can't be emphasized enough, and I'm glad Handler has used her to show to drive home the message. Getting out and voting for either Clinton or Sanders, depending on who secures the nomination, is the only way to stop the candidate whose platform is based on inciting fear and prejudice. Favreau, Handler, and Sykes' message isn't just important, it's also empowering — it's up to the electorate to vote in the candidate who is a champion for all Americans. We all have a voice, and I can't think of a better day than November 8 to make sure our voices are heard.

Image: Netflix