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Chelsea Handler weighs in on criticism over Oscars' lack of diversity

Talk show host Chelsea Handler weighed in on TODAY about the controversy over the lack of diversity among Oscar nominations and her new Netflix series.
/ Source: TODAY

Chelsea Handler weighed in on the criticism over the lack of diversity among this year's Oscar nominations during her appearance on TODAY Wednesday.

"I think it's a touchy subject to be commenting on, especially for a white person to be commenting on,'' Handler told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. "I don't really have any business commenting on it because I'm not black and I don't know what it feels like to be excluded."

"But it is hard to say black people need to be nominated every year,'' she added. "You can't just nominate them because they're black. There aren't enough black movies, absolutely, so it's a tricky argument, one that I shouldn't comment on."

"I already did, so I'm already in trouble," she then joked, referencing the delicate nature of the topic.

RELATED: Academy Awards to take 'historic action' to improve film diversity

After this year's Oscar nominations were announced, the trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite served as a sounding board for those upset over the all-white nominees in major categories.

Director Spike Lee, actress Jada Pinkett Smith and others have called for a boycott of the Feb. 28 ceremony.

There also have been calls for Chris Rock to bow out as host.

"I don't think Chris Rock is going to back out because he's got to represent. So he's gonna go,' Handler said.

Handler's new Netflix series, "Chelsea Does," features her unique approach to four subjects — marriage, racism, technology and drugs.

Over the course of four episodes, the 40-year-old host does everything from asking a classroom full of little kids about whether she is too old to get married to traveling to Peru to take the drug ayahuasca.

"I wanted to make it broader so we could talk about politics, we could talk about sexism and racism and everything and drugs,'' she said. "And I don't want it to be about celebrities because that's boring if that's the only thing we're doing."

The series marks the television return of the best-selling author and former host of E! late-night talk show "Chelsea Lately," which ended its run in 2014. She will debut a new talk show on Netflix in May.

"(The docu-series) is like a bridge to kind of show people the direction I'm going,'' she said.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter