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Michelle Wolf's controversial WHCA dinner speech faces severe backlash for poor taste and lewd remarks

The US president lashed out at comedian Michelle Wolf over her performance at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner.
UPDATED JAN 23, 2020
Michelle Wolf (Source: Getty Images)
Michelle Wolf (Source: Getty Images)

On Sunday, President Donald Trump unleashed a scathing criticism of comedian Michelle Wolf who performed at this year's White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner. Trump branded the infamous entertainer "filthy" and called the entire even "an embarrassment to everyone associated with it".

“The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it,” Trump tweeted.

The president added: “The filthy ‘comedian’ totally bombed (couldn’t even deliver her lines-much like the Seth Meyers weak performance). Put Dinner to rest, or start over!” recalling Meyer's headlining performance in 2011 when he severely mocked Trump with a number of jokes, reported The Hill.

In the same dinner, former President Barack Obama supplemented Meyer's mockery of Trump, making jokes about the prospect of Trump becoming the President of the United States, which he was sure would never happen. 

At the time, Trump was one of the leading proponents of the "birther" conspiracy theory, which aimed to cast doubts about Obama being a naturally born American citizen. Many contend that Obama's monologue that night determined Trump to teach him the naysayers a lesson and run for the office.

It has been a tradition for United States presidents to have fun poked at them at the White House Correspondents' Dinner for almost a century.

But for the second consecutive year, the commander-in-chief boycotted Saturday night's gala event. In fact, he held a campaign rally outside Washington D.C. that coincided with the elitist dinner.

Wolf took the liberty of insulting the president at his absence in a 20-minute long monologue marked with jibes at him. She also targeted First Daughter Ivanka Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders among a few others.

Wolf shamelessly mocked Sanders with controversial and crude-takedowns on her appearance, comparing her to the matronly disciplinarian Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale. However, some applauded her for attacking White House "lies".

That being said, Wolf denied that she ever aimed at Sanders' looks and asserted "all these jokes were about her despicable behavior".

Several conservative pundits and journalists opined that Wolf's remarks were inappropriate and said that she had gone too far, especially in her jokes aimed at the White House press secretary.

After Wolf's unabashed performance, quite a few reporters said that the dinner, which used to be an honorable event, ceased to exist as it is intended to be and had become a joke.

Having said that, the organization behind the annual event expressed regret at the divisiveness of the after-dinner act.

There were many White House aides who decided to walk out early, claiming that Wolf's performance was a clear case of media bias against the current administration.

On Sunday night, Margaret Talev, head of the White House Correspondents' Association, said the night was "meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring the civility, great reporting, and scholarship winners, not to divide people".

"Unfortunately, the entertainer's monologue was not in the spirit of that mission," she said in a statement. The severe backlash caused some prominent journalists to call for changes to the ceremony next year. 

Talev also said that the White House Correspondents' Association was recognizing the industry's concerns and was "committed to hearing your views on the format going forward".

That being said, a number of celebrities from liberal Hollywood along with some journalist defended Wolf by saying that she was doing what she was hired to do - 'roast' the current administration. Although it is clear that standards are falling rapidly, some are still defending such performances saying that Trump 'pushed conspiracy theories' and passed 'vulgar' remarks without apologizing at his 2016 presidential campaign.