American TV personality Wendy Williams was the subject of the internet's outrage recently after her mocking of 'Joker' actor Joaquin Pheonix's facial features. The segment has now caused people on the internet to call out the host for her insensitive statement on social media with many claiming to be suffering from a similar facial deformity.
Prior to television, Williams worked as radio DJ and host while gaining recognition as a 'shock jockette'. She was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2009.
Wendy mocks birth deformity of the acclaimed actor
The actor who is born with the defect that occurs at the time of birth has a cleft upper lip that the TV host relentlessly mocked during a segment of her called 'Hot Topics'. It is thought that the actor was born with a 'microfirm cleft', a mild form cleft which often does not require surgery, but which leaves a small groove in the upper lip.
Describing Phoenix's as 'oddly attractive' she first complimented his 'piercing eyes' before drawing attention to the deformity on the actor's upper lip, which is usually unseen because of the beard.
'When he shaves off his moustache he's got a hairline fracture' she said beginning her barrage of insults. 'He's got one of the those-what do you call it? Cleft lip, cleft palate,'" she concluded mocking the actor's face. The worst part of the segment came after the comments which saw crudely hooking her finger under her lip as if she was suffering from the condition, a common birth defect which happens when a baby's lip or mouth does not form properly during pregnancy.
An athlete with a similar condition calls Wendy out for her comments
Williams' comment did not appear to cause any grief for the host until more than a week after airing on January 7 when the Canadian Football player Adam Bighill criticized Wendy in a recent tweet. The athlete was born with a cleft lip and his baby son Beau also has the same condition. Wendy has yet to address the controversy. Her comments and actions were branded 'disgraceful' and tantamount to bullying after she made cruel remarks on the Oscar-winning actor's 'Cleft lip'.
British TV personality Carol Vorderman spoke out on Twitter addressing Williams ' As Ambassador for Cleft Lip and Palate Association, I really am disgusted by this'. The talk show host has since apologized and said that she is donating to charities that repair cleft lips and palates. One upset user explained why Wendy was out of line, writing: 'This is Wendy Williams making fun of Joaquin Pheonix because of his cleft lip. She said, "he is handsome as long as he doesn't shave.....he has that hair lip." Calling a cleft lip "lip hair" is INCREDIBLY offensive!!!'