TV talk show host Wendy Williams has apologized for telling gay men to “stop wearing [women’s] skirt and [women’s] heels.”
Williams issued the apology video via Twitter following backlash she received from comments she made on Thursday’s (February 13) episode of her show. During her well-known Hot Topics segment, Williams discussed Galentine’s Day, asking the audience who would be celebrating the woman-centric Parks and Recreation holiday.
When some men in the crowd applauded, Williams started off on a tangent.
“If you’re a man and you’re clapping, you’re not even a part of this,” she said. “You don’t understand the rules of the day. It’s women going out and getting saucy and then going home. You’re not a part.”
“I don’t care if you’re gay,” she continued. “You don’t get a [menstruation] 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.”
Then, Williams capped off her rant with the comment that received the most controversy: “And stop wearing our skirts and our heels. Just saying, girls, what do we have for ourselves? Looky here now, gay men, you’ll never be the women that we are. No matter how gay.”
While the audience responded with applause, many criticized the comments on social media following the episode.
Gay men will never go through what women go through.
You're right, we don't. We are just STILL, beaten, murdered, raped, massacred, tortured, and YOU sat on your throne have the audacity to tell us you don't go through what we do. Exactly You don't.#Cancelled
— Lex Burgess (@Lex_Burgess) February 14, 2020
Wendy Williams is a gender essentialist w/ conservative binary views on gender expression & sexuality. This has been clear for YEARS. She enjoys access to queer culture & drag performers & surrounds herself with gay men yet indulges in homophobia & transphobia. #GayHeelsForWendy pic.twitter.com/ObmW5IltC2
— John Pierre (he/they) (@byjohnpierre) February 14, 2020
Responding to the backlash, Williams issued an apology video on Friday (February 14).
“I’ll start by saying I apologize,” she started. “I did not mean to offend my LGBTQ community on yesterday’s show… I’m very persnickety about how I do my show and one thing that I can tell you right now is that I never do this show in a place of malice. 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.”
“I’m 55 years old, and maybe I sounded like your auntie, your mother, your big sister, or somebody out of touch,” Williams concluded. “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.”
A message from Wendy. pic.twitter.com/aEpMvubJVJ
— Wendy Williams (@WendyWilliams) February 14, 2020