Host mocks Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘cleft palate’
SOCIAL media is not feeling Wendy Williams' latest gaffe.
The talk show host mocked 2020 Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix's apparent cleft palate on her January 7 show - and fans and activists are getting upset about it a week later.
During the "Hot Topics" segment of the episode, Williams, 55, started lusting after the Joker star's "piercing eyes," after his win at the Golden Globes the previous weekend.
"When he shaves off his moustache he's got a hairline fracture," she said. "He's got one of those - what do you call it? Cleft lip, cleft palate."
Williams then proceeded to hook her finger in her lip and imitate the common birth defect, which occurs when a baby's lips or mouth do not form properly.
Phoenix, 45, has never formally spoken about the cause of the scar on his lip - and viewers are not taking Williams' actions lightly.
Adam Bighill, a Canadian professional football player who was born with a cleft lip and palate and whose infant son Beau was also born with the condition, has demanded an apology from Williams for the past five days. He says he will continue to tweet until he gets a response.
Today is Beau’s big day. He is getting his lip repaired today in Winnipeg by the fantastic Dr. Ross. Thanks to everyone who has reached out, and in advance, thanks for any of your well wishes for Beau. He is so loved! #cleftstrong #1in700 #cleftcutie pic.twitter.com/n3MxaLvl5f— Adam Bighill (@Bighill44) January 15, 2020
"Waiting for @FOXTV and @BET to let @WendyWilliams (know) that her actions/comments towards the cleft community are not okay," Bighill, 31, wrote on Twitter, as a part of his campaign.
British TV personality Carol Vorderman, 59, who says she is an "ambassador for the Cleft Lip and Palate Association", also tweeted her disgust at Williams' remarks.
"Mimicing (sic) 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?" she wrote.
Williams has not yet addressed the backlash to her comments.
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
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission