Wendy Williams apologises after crudely mocking Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘cleft lip’ live on air
Wendy Williams has been caught in a crossfire of criticism after crudely mocking Joaquin Phoenix’s “cleft lip” after saying she finds him “oddly attractive” live on air.
The 55-year-old discussed the Oscar-nominated Joker actor on January 7 after his Golden Globes win.
In a slot on The Wendy Williams Show, she fawned over Phoenix’s “piercing eyes”, but her comments on his upper lip prompted backlash.
Wendy Williams criticised after crudely imitating a cleft lip.
“When he shaves off his moustache, he’s got a hairline fracture,” she said, “he’s got one of those, what do you call it?
We are still waiting for a @WendyWilliams apology to the cleft community.
Outside of that, seeing everyone come together on social media to rally around her comments and actions has been truly amazing.
— Adam Bighill (@Bighill44) January 12, 2020
“Cleft lip, cleft palate. I find it to be very attractive,” she added.
She then hooked her finger under her lip, imitating the condition.
A cleft palate is a common birth defect which happens when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy.
It affects every one in every 940 births, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Williams’ comments sparked outrage online, with Blue Bombers linebacker Adam Bighill slamming the TV star.
Thank you everyone for coming together, I can’t tell you what it means to me to see your love/support!! Well over 30k ppl have been a part of this! @WendyWilliams still owes a public apology to every1 of the cleft community. Please see my message/thoughts in the pics below pic.twitter.com/SXntjtaKBP
— Adam Bighill (@Bighill44) January 11, 2020
Both Bighill and his son, Beau, we born with a cleft lip and palate. He dubbed Williams’ words as “sickening” and said he would post “everyday until an apology and charitable donation” was made by her.
American footballer campaigns for TV host to apologise.
Which is precisely what she did five days later on the day Beau was in surgery“getting his lip repaired”.
“We’re thinking about Beau today,” Williams wrote on her Twitter, tagging Bighill, “as he is in surgery.
. @Bighill44 We’re thinking about Beau today as he is in surgery. I want to apologize to the cleft community and in Beau’s honor, our show is donating to @operationsmile and @AmerCleftPalate and encourage our Wendy Watchers to learn more and help support the cleft community.
— Wendy Williams (@WendyWilliams) January 16, 2020
“I want to apologise to the cleft community and in Beau’s honour.” She then added her donations to Operation Smile Canada and the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.
Bighill accepted her apology and her donation: “I forgive you, and I encourage others to do as well.
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Thank you @WendyWilliams for your apology, your donation, and for thinking of Beau today for his surgery. I forgive you, and I encourage others to as well. I wish you all the best. https://t.co/JmYnRb8C8t
— Adam Bighill (@Bighill44) January 16, 2020
“I wish you all the best.”