Chelsea Handler Heather McDonald

Chelsea Handler Fires Back: Lately's Heather McDonald 'Should Be Scared'

It turns out the only thing more uncomfortable than an episode of Chelsea Lately is life after the late E! talk show.

During a Sirius XM interview on Tuesday, former host Chelsea Handler responded to Lately writer Heather McDonald‘s recent comments about Handler being a hellish boss. (“I lived in fear, 100 percent fear,” McDonald said. “I enjoyed my time there … but something could happen and my heart would be beating and I’d be like, ‘Is this it?'”) As you might expect, Handler did not mince words.

“She would never say anything to my face,” Handler said. “She would only say that on the radio. She would never, ’cause she’s f–ing scared, and she should be. Now she should be really scared. … I could have fired her, but instead I just stopped spending any personal time with her.”

And Handler — whose new show Chelsea Does premieres Jan. 23 on Netflix — didn’t exactly deny that life at Lately could occasionally get, shall we say, difficult.

“I mean … a million things happen, you’re at work,” she conceded. “You’re not a nice person every day. But never like that. “You can’t be scared to be at work, this isn’t a concentration camp. You should quit then. Go quit.”

(Editor’s note: Handler should definitely re-use that slogan while recruiting future employees: “Come work for me! It’s… not a concentration camp!”)

Listen to Handler’s full (NSFW) interview below, then drop a comment with your thoughts on this Handler/McDonald debacle.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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39 Comments
  1. Wow Chelsea Handler and Jenny McCarthy. It’s like a vortex of no talent

  2. Jimmy says:

    So in other words, Chelsea is as horrible as Heather claimed she was.

    Got it. Thanks, TVLine.

  3. Kyle says:

    Inclined to believe Chelsea.

    Heather sucks

  4. Kaycee says:

    Chelsea is the boss on the show. I’m sure Heather thought that it would be relaxed, easy and she could get away with anything since all the pressure is on Chelsea. People forget that it’s WORK, difficult times arise even in the entertainment business.

  5. tvjunkie says:

    What is Chelsea famous for other than being a rude potty mouth who likes to post topless pics on social media? Oh, I guess that’s it. It’s certainly not because she’s funny.

  6. Tina Fey says:

    Chelsea’s new series on Netflix looks awful, just sayin’…and this is coming from a huge fan of “Chelsea Lately”.

  7. Paul says:

    You handle this situation by heading out. And you do it in a professional manner (two weeks is the standard in most industries, it might be more in entertainment writing). If your boss is an ass, leave! Maybe she’s an ass because you’re not pulling your weight. Either way, divorce is what’s called for. Family problems, you fix. Work problems, you cut ties.

  8. A fan of TV says:

    For the love of gosh, Chelsea, take the high road. You are rich AND relevant, and this response just affirms the point your former not-rich, not-relevant employee is making.

  9. Handler was extremely abusive to her staff on camera. I am sure she broke several laws.

  10. J says:

    I mean, Heather McDonald WAS kind of a hack.

  11. Ron says:

    I really don’t think anyone is denying that Chelsea seems like she may be difficult to be around. Heck, I think even Chelsea would tell you she isn’t always the best person to be around–she kind of did in this interview. So I get what Heather is saying. But in this particular situation, *if* I have to side with anyone, it’s Chelsea. Heather was (and is) always out to be in the spotlight. She’s obsessed with being famous, and Heather would probably tell you the same thing about herself–she made no secret about it. So I totally believe she would sell stories to magazines. But I think the part the really gets to me is that Chelsea would frequently take Heather (and others) on all-expenses paid vacations to some of the best places in the world, and Heather certainly wasn’t complaining at all then. Heather certainly wasn’t complaining when Chelsea had her on as one of the most frequented round table guests ever on the show. Truthfully, next to no one would even know about Heather if it weren’t for Chelsea and her show. But I think this kinda goes a little beyond biting the hand that feeds you, because of all the free vacations on top of everything else. I’m not saying Heather is wrong in what she said, but it really seems like one of those things she shouldn’t have said so publicly.

    • Jeri says:

      Yeah, Chelsea even slept with the network president until the show was a hit. I bet attendance was mandatory on those vacations and no one dared not go. Kind of takes the fun out.

  12. Mak says:

    Chelsea is a nightmare…her response confirms what everyone already knows! A talent-less nightmare!

  13. Ive gotta say im on Chelsea’s side on this one. It’s just a dirtball move to air out your friend’s dirt laundry to try to get yourself spot light tomorrow time. And then to say you’re scared for your career but thanks still work for the person you “fear”, and go on tour with them and open for them. You must not of been that scared. She’s just acting like a sleezball. And that is surprising considering that she’s try to weasel her way onto the housewives shows. She obviously doesn’t care about her former friend Chelsea Handler, even though Chelsea is the reason she got the little fame she has.
    She’s just an unapologetic, conniving, weasel. Who will get hers in due time, and Chelsea won’t be there to puck her up and dust her off.
    Hope she’s happy burning these bridges.

    • Melody says:

      Heather McDonald is less talented than Chelsea Handler and was a kiss A** when it came to the kardashians. So I have no sympathy for her.

  14. TV Gord says:

    The impression I got from Heather’s interview was that a lot of her fear was self-inflicted, so she was really bending over backward to take the blame herself.

    This stuff about the magazine does add a new wrinkle to the whole thing, though.

    I still like them both. This isn’t my war. This is between them.

  15. Melody says:

    Honestly during the last year of Handler’s E Show I sensed something was off between those two.

    Part of the reason Chelsea dislikes Heather is due to her friendship with the Kardashians and while I am not a fan…she was right about one thing…Heather was a total suck up.

  16. Dude says:

    So Chelsea just confirmed that everything she said was right. Being someone who works in television, I know that most people in positions of power are raging d-bags. They are under an intense amount of pressure and work load and use it as an excuse to treat their employees like crap. It’s not great but to be fair, Heather should probably expect it in this business.

  17. Barbara Petoskey says:

    Handler is really a man. Btw, not funny either.

  18. Ryan says:

    Even Joan and Melissa Rivers said on Howard Stern how rude Chelsea was when they were at E! and would just ignore them if they said good morning. Chelsea says “you’re not a nice person every day.” Maybe that’s because you just aren’t a nice person. Joan had it right. Chelsea is an ordinary girl and very one note. Her 15 minutes are up, and she will fade into obscurity soon.

  19. Alex says:

    Handler’s own comments seem to back up the notion that she was a hard person to work for. Handler has always seemed like a huge bully; she bullied her prior guests all of the time. I’m not surprised that she bullied her staff and probably currently does over at Netflix.

  20. I’m looking for a job

  21. Red says:

    Handler is upset that someone said something negative about her. Big deal. She shoots off her trap on a daily basis, judging everyone all the time and now she’s getting the short end of the negative opinion stick. My heart bleeds….not. Like Maxx Fisher wrote: a vortex of no talent.