A petition has started to try to get Wendy Williams fired after she appeared to mock people with cleft lips and palates.
The daytime talk show host upset parents and activists on The Wendy Williams Show after performing a segment where she spoke about Joaquin Phoenix’s scar.
While discussing the recent Golden Globes, where Phoenix won Best Actor for his role in Joker, she revealed that she finds the actor “oddly attractive.”
She then said, “When he shaves off his mustache, he’s got a hairline fracture, he’s got one of those, what do you call it, cleft lip, cleft palate.”
Williams then hooked her finger over her mouth to mimic a cleft lip.
Corey Perry has started a petition with Change.org to get Williams fired from daytime TV. The petition has been up for one week, and as of this writing has 29,751 signatures, a goal of 35,000 is the goal.
Perry posted the petition along with a statement on behalf of his friends Val and Andre. In the statement, the couple writes about their young son, who was born with a complete bilateral cleft lip.
They refer to Williams as a “total disgrace” for making “a joke out of something that is completely out of our control.”
They mention “all the days spent in the hospital and the numerous surgeries he had to go through, the blood, the pain, the day to day activities that he had to miss.”
Comments posted below the petition argue that Williams was engaged in bullying and should not be allowed to get away with such behavior.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says, “Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth does not form properly during pregnancy. Together, these birth defects commonly are called orofacial clefts.”