The comedian spoke with DeGeneres about a number of hot-button topics, including her thoughts on women’s empowerment, President Donald Trump and the bitter partisan divide over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Although she described America’s current political climate as “depressing” and “upsetting,” she said she felt particularly inspired by the growing number of women getting politically engaged.
“There’s a really beautiful moment happening with women coming together,” Handler said. “We all know now there’s power in numbers and there’s power collectively, so it’s so important for us all to make each other aware of what your options are on [Election Day]. ... We all can just do more than we’re doing.”
Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court earlier this month was “representative of white male power,” Handler said, adding that she had assumed Anita Hill’s testimony nearly 30 years ago would have changed how the Senate considered allegations of sexual misconduct against a Supreme Court nominee.
“It just looks like a bunch of older white turtles and men who are 85-plus saying, ‘Women, you don’t get a voice,’” she said. “And we have to say no to that.”
She was even more blunt when it came to Trump.
“I find it really, really unsettling that [he’s] the president of our country,” she said.
Trump’s 2016 election victory was the impetus for Handler’s forthcoming Netflix documentary, in which she explores her own white privilege.
“I just started to think about all the privilege I’ve benefited from in this industry, especially,” she said. “When I started to look around at people that don’t have as successful of a career or are working twice as hard to achieve the same things, I started to feel very gross about myself.”
“For me, it’s an important subject matter right now,” she added. “It’s like, ‘What are the people that are benefiting from this gonna do about it?’ And I’m somebody who’s benefiting from it.”