American television host Wendy Williams was criticised for mocking Joker actor Joaquin Phoenix's 'cleft lip'. According to reports, Wendy started speaking about the Ladder 49 actor during one of the segments on her TV programme The Wendy Williams Show. She was initially talking about Phoenix's eyes before commenting on the scar present above his left lip, which she said was more prominent when he is without a beard.
According to reports, Wendy Williams went on to say that it looked like Phoenix had a hairline fracture before asking what a cleft palate meant and appeared to have mockingly recreated Phoenix's 'cleft lip'. Addressing the audience on her show, Williams continued to keep her finger hooked under the lip and said that she found Joaquin Phoenix's unique feature quite attractive.
Joaquin Phoenix was born with a cleft lip and has never gone under the knife to remove the scar. According to reports, the actor has the mildest form of a cleft palate i.e. micro cleft. Wendy Williams' comments did not down well the one of the ambassador's of Cleft Lip and Palate Association. The comments also prompted a parent to comment on the television presenter's actions.
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 https://t.co/bINZItpWgI— Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders) January 9, 2020
I have a cleft lip and palate. I am 45 years old. It still hurts me now when I see (or perceive to see) someone double take, or worse overhear talk about it. The physical scars are visible, but far less painful than the mental ones from a childhood of being mocked for my looks.— Rich Bevan (@richbevan16) January 9, 2020
How dare she be so insensitive, my daughter was born with this had endless operations pain and heartache Bullying never complained once !! she is beautiful sensitive compassionate very funny , and if ever she was confronted with this woman she would wipe the floor with her 🤢— jane nash (@janash55) January 9, 2020
As the Mummy of this BEAUTIFUL cleft boy, I was sickened to see @WendyWilliams abuse her platform of fame for pure mockery of the stunning @joaquinphoenixv— Kathryn Callister (@kathryn_reu) January 10, 2020
Thank you @carolvorders for taking a stand #cleftproud #cleftstrong 💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/zKzAOhJR1p
As a Cleft Surgeon and Director of Children's Services I am disgusted that @WendyWilliams, a BAME woman who should understand prejudice, thinks it not only acceptable but funny to ridicule people with Cleft Lip.#NoEmpathy— Kanwalraj Moar (@KanwalMoar) January 10, 2020
This needs a RT!!! 🤬🤬🤬@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
The backlash prompted Wendy Williams to apologise to Blue Bomber's linebacker Adam Bighill in relation to the comments made on The Wendy Williams Show that appeared to mock people with a cleft lip.
. @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
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