Nothing like the tear-soaked apology video of someone who knows they’ve said something wrong, and more urgently, knows they’ll suffer backlash if they don’t say something about it. Wendy Williams is no stranger to saying controversial things on The Wendy Williams Show. Just watch her try to explain the plot of Parasite after its Oscar wins earlier this week. (“I don’t go to the movies to read stuff.”) Now, she’s apologizing for homophobic and transphobic comments she made on Thursday’s episode of her talk show.
During the show’s “Hot Topics” segment, Williams brought up the concept of Galentine’s Day. When men and women in the audience clapped and cheered, she singled out the men, saying, “I don’t care if you’re gay. You don’t get a menses every 28 days. You can do a lot that we do, but I get offended by the idea that we go through something you will never go through. And stop wearing our skirts and our heels.”
Even though the studio audience eerily laughed and clapped, many viewers were quick to point out online that it’s transphobic to suggest that only real women get periods, and that it’s homophobic to suggest accuse gay men of all wanting to be women.
On Friday, Williams posted an apology video to Youtube and social media. In the video, she says, “I did not mean to offend my LGBTQ+ community on yesterday’s show.” She says that after the show, she critiqued her “delivery,” but also blamed “the cameras, the lights, the audience,” because “I never do this show in a place of malice.” She continues:
I understand my platform with the community. From first grade, to intermediate school, to high school, to college, to radio, and now to TV. And I didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. I’m just having a conversation. If you know me long enough, then you know: bon vivant. I don’t even know what that means, but it sounds fabulous. In my mind, it means ‘Live and let live.’ Bon vivant. And I live and let live every day. Life is too short. I’m 55 years old, and maybe I sounded like your auntie, your mother, your big sister, or somebody out of touch. I’m not out of touch, except for perhaps yesterday by saying what I said. So I deeply apologize and I deeply appreciate the support that I get from the community. I will do better. I appreciate you supporting me. Thank you.
This is not the first time Williams has been criticized for making homophobic and transphobic remarks on her show. In 2017, many RuPaul’s Drag Race alums came out against Williams appearing on VH1’s Fierce Fridays, citing her past transphobia towards Caitlyn Jenner and homophobia towards a drag performer she threatened to expel from her talk show’s audience in 2009.