By James Wigderson for Media Trackers
If comedian-turned-activist Chelsea Handler shows up at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton as scheduled on February 1st, WTMJ talk show host Steve Scaffidi will be there to ask her some questions. Handler, the former star of E!’s “Chelsea Lately” and Netflix’s “Chelsea,” is scheduled to appear for “A Conversation with Chelsea Handler.”
Handler recently became the subject of controversy when she criticized South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham on Twitter in obscene terms that some have called “homophobic.”
“Holy, f— f—. I just the video of trumps bipartisan “meeting” yesterday,” Handler posted. “Hey, @LindseyGrahamSC what kind of d— s—–g video do they have on you for you 2 be acting like this? Wouldn’t coming out be more honorable?”
Despite the Twitter post about Graham, Scaffidi said he still plans on being a part of the program.
“There’s a lot of things I don’t like about Chelsea Handler and one of those things is that I don’t like what she posts,” Scaffidi said in an interview Friday. “That’ll be one of the things we talk about.”
Handler’s Twitter post may have already cancelled one appearance for her. Handler was supposed to appear the day before the Appleton show at a fundraiser for Randy Bryce, a Democrat who is competing in the August primary hoping to take on House Speaker Paul Ryan in November in the first congressional district. The Madison event was supposed to be hosted by Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan.
After Media Trackers asked for comments from Bryce and Pocan, the event was pulled down from the website of the Madison venue where it was to be held and an employee there said the event was postponed with no make-up date yet scheduled. No explanation has been given by the campaigns of Bryce or Pocan.
Nonetheless, Scaffidi said he was still willing to appear with Handler despite the controversy.
“I’m not afraid of conversation and sometimes you got to challenge these people,” Scaffidi said.
Scaffidi said that despite the audience being there to see Handler, he has been assured that the format will allow him to ask his questions to challenge Handler.
“Conservative against a liberal, and the topics are all the stuff you would talk about if you’re having a debate,” Scaffidi said. “I think it’s just two of us, and then there’s a Q&A after. I’m not sure if I’m part of that or just her.”
When Media Trackers contacted the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Director of Marketing and Communications Trisha Witt said she was unaware of the controversy with Handler’s Twitter post. Despite the information, Witt said the show will go on.
Scaffidi is being paid $500 for his appearance, money he plans on donating to his Oak Creek Cares. Before joining WTMJ, Scaffidi was the mayor of Oak Creek.