themighty logo

Wendy Williams Apologizes for Offensive Appreciation of Joaquin Phoenix's Facial Difference

Wendy Williams landed herself in hot water after comments she made in “appreciation” of Joaquin Phoenix’s cleft lip were called out as offensive. She has since apologized.

During a recent episode of “The Wendy Williams Show,” the TV host was discussing how Beyoncé did not stand during Phoenix’s Golden Globes win for “Joker.” The conversation quickly transitioned into a discussion of Phoenix’s appearance after Williams said she found the actor “oddly attractive.”

“He’s got that good nose. It dips way down like he’s happy with it, so am I,” Williams said. “When he shaves off his mustache, he’s got a hairline fracture. He’s got one of those, what do you call that? Cleft lip, cleft palate.”

While describing Phoenix’s facial difference, Williams pulled her lip up to imitate a cleft lip in an offensive gesture many on social media were quick to call her out for, while a petition circulated asking her to be fired from the daytime talk show.

Following the backlash online, Williams apologized for her comments and gesture on Twitter Wednesday, adding “The Wendy Williams Show” had donated to the cleft palate organizations Operation Smile and American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.

“I want to apologize to the cleft community,” Williams wrote. “[We] encourage our Wendy Watchers to learn more and help support the cleft community.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons/WBLS