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Chelsea Handler Reveals Why She Ended Things with Jo Koy

Chelsea Handler is a comedian, actress, and author who has been a fixture in the entertainment industry for over two decades..

Chelsea Handler at the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA. Image: Joe Seer/Shutterstock

Chelsea Handler is a comedian, actress, and author who has been a fixture in the entertainment industry for over two decades. Jo Koy is another comedian who has made a name for himself with his stand-up comedy and Netflix specials. But recently, Handler made headlines when she decided to recuse Koy from her upcoming comedy tour.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Handler’s decision and its impact on the industry.

Background on Chelsea Handler and Jo Koy

Chelsea Handler got her start in the industry as a stand-up comedian before transitioning to television with her talk show “Chelsea Lately” on E! Entertainment. Since then, she has written several books, hosted her own Netflix talk show, and starred in various television shows and movies. 

Jo Koy, on the other hand, started his career in the early 2000s and has become known for his observational humor and storytelling. He has released several comedy albums and has had two Netflix specials, “Jo Koy: Live from Seattle” and “Jo Koy: Comin’ in Hot.”

Jo Koy and Chelsea Handler’s Collaboration

Handler and Koy have collaborated in the past, with Koy appearing on Handler’s talk show and the two doing stand-up shows together. However, in March 2021, Handler announced that she would be embarking on a comedy tour without Koy, citing concerns over cultural appropriation.

Chelsea Handler’s Decision to Recuse Jo Koy

Handler’s decision to recuse Koy came after the two had discussed cultural appropriation during a podcast episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.” During the conversation, Koy made some comments that Handler felt were insensitive and perpetuated stereotypes about Asian Americans. Handler took to social media to express her disappointment and explain her decision to recuse Koy from her tour.

Handler’s reasoning for recusing Koy

In her social media post, Handler explained that she had to take a stand against cultural appropriation and that Koy’s comments were harmful and offensive. Handler, who is a vocal advocate for social justice, believes that comedians have a responsibility to use their platform to uplift marginalized communities and not perpetuate harmful stereotypes.

Jo Koy’s Response

Koy has not publicly commented on Handler’s decision to recuse him from her tour, but he did address the controversy surrounding his comments on “The Joe Rogan Experience” during an appearance on “The Breakfast Club.” Koy apologized for his comments and acknowledged the harm they caused, but also explained that he was coming from a place of ignorance and that he is committed to learning and growing.

Reactions to Handler’s Decision

Handler’s decision to recuse Koy was met with mixed reactions. Some praised her for taking a stand against cultural appropriation, while others criticized her for canceling Koy without giving him a chance to explain himself. Some fans of Koy expressed disappointment that they would not be able to see him perform on Handler’s tour.

Handler’s Response to the Reactions

Handler addressed the reactions to her decision in a subsequent podcast episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.” She explained that while she understands the importance of giving people the benefit of the doubt and a chance to explain themselves, she also believes in holding people accountable for their actions and words. Handler also reiterated her commitment to using her platform for social justice and to promoting diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry.


In conclusion, Chelsea Handler’s decision to recuse Jo Koy from her comedy tour sparked a conversation about cultural appropriation and the responsibility of comedians to use their platform for good. 

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