Wendy Williams apologizes, donates to cleft lip charities after poking fun at Joaquin Phoenix’s scar

Niko Tavernise/© 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved(NEW YORK) — Wendy Williams has put her money where her mouth is as an apology to Joaquin Phoenix and others who have had cleft lips.

Williams got flamed online when she appeared to make fun of the Oscar-nominated Joker actor’s lip scar, while simultaneously praising his acting and his looks. She even went so far as to stick her finger in her lip and expose her teeth, to imitate the common but easily fixable birth defect. 

“He’s got one of those — what do you call it? — cleft lip, cleft palate. He’s got this,” she said while holding her lip. “I find it to be very attractive.”

Adam Bighill, a Canadian football player whose son, Beau, had his lip repaired this week, flamed the talk show host online, and asked her to apologize.

The outcry led Williams to say sorry — and open her wallet as well as her heart. She posted to the athlete, “We’re thinking about Beau today as he is in surgery. I want to apologize to the cleft community and in Beau’s honor, our show is donating to @operationsmile and @AmerCleftPalate and encourage our Wendy Watchers to learn more and help support the cleft community.”

In response, Bighill noted, “Thank you @WendyWilliams for your apology, your donation, and for thinking of Beau today for his surgery. I forgive you, and I encourage others to as well. I wish you all the best.”

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