Wendy Williams mimicked the facial features of actor Joaquin Phoenix, who has a cleft lip or palate, on January 7 on her daytime TV show The Wendy Williams Show, eliciting laughter from her audience. During a segment on the show called Hot Topics, Wendy Williams said that when the Joker star Joaquin Phoenix shaves off his mustache he's got a hairline fracture.
As she spoke, Williams pulled her lip up with her finger to mock the condition, which happens when a baby's lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Adding, "He's got one of those - what do you call it?"
On Wednesday morning the Bomber's linebacker took to Twitter to announce his son Beau, who was also born with cleft lip, was heading into surgery to have it repaired.
Adam Bighill and his son were both born with bilateral cleft lip and palate. He says he will continue to tweet until he gets a response.
Waiting for @FOXTV and @BET to let @WendyWilliams that her actions/comments towards the cleft community are not okay.@steeletalk had me on her show today, and we talk in depth about it. Watch and share! "I want to apologize to the cleft community and in Beau's honor, our show is donating to [Operation Smile] and [American Cleft Palate -Craniofacial Association] and encourage our Wendy Watchers to learn more and help support the cleft community", she tweeted.
Williams has not yet addressed the backlash to her comments.
"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?"