By: Abbey Adams
“We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired” says comedian turned activist, Chelsea Handler. The New Jersey native has devoted the last year or so to making her mark in the political world. Handler describes this change of career as a necessary step for her. “I wanna do something real. We have an opportunity to do something we’ve never done before. We have to remain tireless. You don’t stop fighting until you get what you want.”
University Union and The New York Times presented the event, “Get With the Times: Fearlessly Forward with Chelsea Handler”. The premiere sponsor was The North Face and the media sponsor was Refinery 29. Handler was joined by investigative journalist at The New York Times, Megan Twohey, also known for her work breaking the infamous Harvey Weinstein story in 2017.
According to the United States Department of Justice, about 20 million out of 112 million women in the U.S. have been raped during their lifetime. In light of recent events, women have been banding together to support the Me Too movement, showing that sexual abuse can happen to anyone. Stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, and more have come forward to stand up for what’s right. Twohey was deep in investigation on film producer Harvey Weinstein, and has since made it a point to talk about how we can move forward and make a change in our society. Handler has been supporting the cause since day one.
Twohey asked Handler several thought provoking questions, all pertaining to the comedian’s early career, her stance on our nation’s leaders, and her newfound love for politics. Handler has recently announced she will join forces with EMILY’s List; an American political action committee that aims to elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates to office. They also help people register to vote as well as campaign for candidates who are fighting for women’s rights. Handler answered every question charged up and ready to fight. She seems to be up to speed and full of knowledge when it comes to today’s current events. While talking to the crowd of college-age young adults, Handler said “It’s easy to be involved. It’s so imperative to get engaged at a young age. It’s powerful to be informed. These are our lives. You have to do that for the next generation. It’s a social responsibility.” Every college student clapped in response to her focus on educating young people to get involved in something that they may think “doesn’t matter” but indeed, does.
Female comedians like: Tiffany Haddish, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, and Kate McKinnon all have been paving the way for women in comedy within the last couple years. Handler says she does not see them as a threat anymore, but instead, cheers them on, proud to see more women being true to who they are in an industry that can so easily change a person. “This feels like an army of women” Handler says powerfully, “Things are changing because we are getting louder. There is a movement happening.” Handler remained motivational and purposeful with every breath she took on that stage. Inspiring is an understatement. This is just the beginning for her. Stay tuned for more from Chelsea Handler and her activist journey when her original documentary comes to Netflix soon.
To learn more about EMILY’s list, visit https://www.emilyslist.org/