Wendy Williams apologizes after fans slam her for mocking Joaquin Phoenix's 'cleft lip' surgery scar

Wendy Williams drew flak for her insensitive remarks not just from fans, but from Canadian football player Adam Bighill too whose son has a cleft lip.


                            Wendy Williams apologizes after fans slam her for mocking Joaquin Phoenix's 'cleft lip' surgery scar
Wendy Williams (Getty Images)

Wendy Williams sparked outrage after she cruelly poked fun at Joaquin Phoenix's 'cleft lip' during the latest episode of The Wendy Williams Show. Calling the Academy Award winner "oddly attractive" on her talk show, she first drew light to his piercing eyes and then criticized a scar on the actor's upper lip, which is mostly masked by a beard. 

Referring to his Oscar-nominated stint in 'Walk the Line', she said, “He played that Johnny Cash. It wasn’t Reese [Witherspoon] who kept me, it was him.” She then added, “He knows how to transform, when he shaves [his beard] off, the way he looks at you,” Williams continued. “And he’s got the good nose that dips way down like he’s happy with it and so am I.”

Mocking him as she held her hand to pull her own lip, she added. “When he shaves off his mustache he’s got a hairline fracture. He’s got one of those — what do you call it — cleft lip, cleft palate,” Williams continued, using her hand to pull up her own lip. “He’s got this. I find it to be very attractive.” 

Joaquin Phoenix accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for 'Joker' onstage during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. (Getty Images)

No sooner did she make those insensitive remarks, she was mercilessly trolled on social media and slammed by Phoenix's fans. "What a horrible woman. And her producer just laughed and laughed. These are some sick, apathetic A-holes. #Cancel #WendyWilliams," one tweet read and another said, @WendyWilliams Hey I heard you like talking about people with birth defects. In fact, I saw a clip of it right here. You want to tell me again what's up with my face? The mark God wrought, you had thoughts. Care to share?

Another Twitter user wrote, "Hey @WendyWilliams, just because you’ve had your fair share of plastic surgery doesn’t mean you get to make fun of those of us who didn’t get a choice in whether or not we had it."

Not just fans, her demonstration garnered backlash from Canadian football player Adam Bighill, whose son Beau had his lip repaired on Wednesday.

“Today is Beau’s big day. He is getting his lip repaired today in Winnipeg by the fantastic Dr. Ross,” he wrote, sharing a photo holding his baby. “Thanks to everyone who has reached out, and in advance, thanks for any of your well wishes for Beau. He is so loved!” he wrote in a tweet and asked the talk show host for an apology.

Williams finally sent an apology to Bighill and “the cleft community” on Twitter, adding that The Wendy Williams Show donated to both Operation Smile and the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association in Beau’s honor. “@Bighill44 We’re thinking about Beau today as he is in surgery,” Williams wrote. “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.” 

Bighill then responded to her, saying, “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.”

Even after her apology, Twitter users seem really cross with Williams and are still condemning her on social media for her unsympathetic and callous words.

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