Well, this is awkward. And possibly cryptic. But also maybe nothing. Who knows? But it’s certainly gotten our attention.
Netflix has quietly and inexplicably removed 66 of 120 episodes of Chelsea Handler’s now-cancelled original series “Chelsea” from its platform.
This might not seem like such a big deal except that it’s the only time the streaming giant has ever scrubbed content that it owned and created. And the fact that they’re not saying why they did it is also, well, kinda weird.
“Chelsea” ran for two seasons from 2016-2017 and received mixed reviews from critics before being canceled.
In a statement this week, Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s vice president of nonfiction series and comedy specials, said that coming up with successful talk shows is a difficult task.
In the last two years, the company has canceled three shows in the genre– “The Break With Michelle Wolf,” “The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale” and “Chelsea”– with two others currently on life support–“Norm Macdonald Has a Show” and “The Fix,” starring Jimmy Carr, D. L. Hughley and Katherine Ryan.
“The timeliness of the genre is a challenge for us as an on-demand service,” Riegg said. “We’ve worked with many talented artists to pioneer talk shows for streaming audiences, and although some shows ended, we hope everyone involved is proud of what they created.”
But that doesn’t explain why, of all those failed shows, only Handler’s has been yanked.
Earlier this year, Handler defended fellow comedian Kevin Hart’s homophobic past, saying she “honestly respects” him, despite the fact that he never apologized for cracking antigay jokes and writing antigay tweets, though falsely he claimed he had.
Last December, an old tweet Handler had written in which she used an antigay slur resurfaced, prompting criticism from comedian Nick Cannon.
Also last year, Handler was criticized for repeatedly cracking jokes about Sen. Lindsay Graham, calling him “gay” and a “bottom” and tweeting that he had a “d*ck sucking” video in an attempt to humiliate him.
All this from a woman who claims to be an LGBTQ “ally.”
Handler has not yet commented on Netflix yanking her show from the platform.