“Explain to me what white privilege is,” late-night host Jimmy Kimmel asked last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live guest Chelsea Handler, who was there to promote her new Netflix documentary Hello Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea. Fielding a simple yet loaded question right off the bat, Handler answered candidly: “I always thought it was a certain group of people that get into Harvard or that get into Yale or have rich parents… but it’s a privilege to go into a grocery store and not be stared at, to get pulled over and not worry about whether it’s a life or death situation.”
To examine white privilege and dig deeper into her own experiences, Handler travels across the country in the documentary to talk about race with a wide range of people, including a Republican women’s group in California, comedians Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart, and college students.
She told Kimmel that on day one of filming, she had to take sexual harassment and racial sensitivity training after she smacked a Black woman’s behind after praising her stage performance at a USC festival: “I got to speak with her again on the phone and she told me how for years and years and years, Black women have been defined by their hair and their asses. She told me, ‘You have no right to touch my body.’”
Handler also told Kimmel about her teenage years in New Jersey when she and her then-boyfriend, who was Black, were caught three times with dime bags. Each time, he was arrested and she was let go. For Hello Privilege, she went back and spoke to him on-camera about their past, seen in the film’s trailer below. Hello Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea premieres on Netflix on September 13.