Earlier this month, Wendy Williams got a lot of backlash after making some controversial comments on her show in which she made fun of people with cleft lip palates. People were so angry about her remarks that a petition went around to get her fired. Williams has since apologized but the complaints are continuing to grow in number and the television host has not yet addressed the controversy on her show, according to Pop Culture.
The petition in question was started on Change.org by an individual named Corey Perry, who shared a statement from a friend who had a child born with a cleft palate. The emotional statement discussed how this particular condition is incredibly hard — not just for the child but also for their parents, who may worry about their development and the chance they may be bullied.
The petition was started just two weeks ago and now, has nearly 80,000 signatures as of this writing. Many of those who have signed and commented have shared stories of their own children who were born with a cleft lip.
“My son was born with complete bilateral cleft lip, soft and hard palate. She is making a mockery of a very serious condition with no regards for the trauma it causes to millions of family. Instead of using her platform to educate, she only promotes bullying and it is absolutely disgusting,” one woman wrote.
. @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
Even though it’s likely that this controversy likely isn’t going away anytime soon, Williams has instead focused on more lighthearted topics.
This issue was brought about by Williams when she discussed actor Joaquin Phoenix’s appearance. The Joker star has a scar from surgery that was done to correct his own cleft lip palate, and when he is clean-shaven, it is more visible. The host commented on the scar, saying she found it “oddly attractive.” However, she then used her finger to raise up her lip, seemingly mocking the way the mouths of those with this condition tend to turn upward. Her audience laughed along with her.
Cleft lip palate is a condition where a child’s upper lip doesn’t develop fully when they are in the womb. It leads to a gap between the roof of the mouth and the lip that can usually be corrected through surgery.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Williams apologized via a Twitter post and pledged to donate to two organizations that help provide treatment to those with this condition.