Wendy Williams caused a furore on Twittersphere for making fun of Joaquin Phoenix's cleft lip on Wendy Williams show. Given how Phoenix has won almost all the accolades and hearts there is in the book with his stellar performance as Joker, Williams decided to talk about the star wining the Golden Globes and Beyonce’s decision of not standing up when the star was receiving the award. "In my universe, who is Joaquin Phoenix?," she asked.
She then went on to comment on his ‘piercing eyes’, after which, things went south for the talk host once her compliment reached Phoenix’s cleft lip. "By the way, I think I've shared this with you before: I find him oddly attractive. He played that Johnny Cash. It wasn't Reese [Witherspoon] who kept me. It was him."
"This right here, I don't know anything about this," she joked, pointing to the famous, stair-scene from Joker.
Things went way, way off course when she mocked the star’s cleft lip, imitating with a hand gesture saying, ‘He's got that what do you call it? Cleft lip. I find that to be very attractive’’.
This needs a RT!!! ðŸ¤¬ðŸ¤¬ðŸ¤¬@WendyWilliams mimics a cleft lip and palate person!! I have a cleft lip and palate, so does my son who was just born, her actions are hideous and OFFENSIVE. Promoting bullying, with her platform, that’s IRRESPONSIBLE!! #EndBullying https://t.co/ynPidLaGf5— Adam Bighill (@Bighill44) January 10, 2020
Given the day and era of the internet, it didn’t take long for netizens to lash out at the host calling her ‘disgraceful’, for making fun of a birth condition.
‘’As Ambassador for Cleft Lip and Palate Association @CLAPACOMMUNITY I really am disgusted by this @wendywilliams. Mimicing a cleft lip, and making a joke about it, is disgraceful. Have you any idea the pain and operations a child with cleft must go through as they grow? Please RT’’ blasted Carol Vorderman.
‘’Hey @WendyWilliams’, a public apology to the cleft community is in order. Coming from the father of a beautiful son born with cleft lip/palate, if you had to experience what we have watching our son go through everything he has, you wouldnt be so quick to make fun of this’’ another wrote.
@WendyWilliams - as the mom of an 11 yr old girl who was born with cleft lip & palate, I was horrified to see you make this gesture regarding Joaquin Phoenix’s cleft! These are the kinds of bullying gestures my daughter has dealt with since preschool. SHAME ON YOU. pic.twitter.com/uA46bRfa6i— Julie Snyder ðŸ§¢ (@JulieS8921) January 8, 2020
Infact, a petition to get the host fired, ‘Get Wendy Williams Fired’ was even launched that has over 9,000 votes.
Following ‘demand’ of apology, Williams have issued an apology on Twitter while responding to Adam Bighill’s tweet,
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
“Waiting for an apology and donation from @WendyWilliams and since we are still waiting, this campaign has gone viral,” he said. “This campaign/message is all centered around one thing we all agree on, bullying is awful. Thank you all for being a part of the difference #end bullying”.