On Thursday’s episode of The Wendy Williams Show (which you can watch above; the relevant comments begin around the six-minute mark), Williams asked her audience who among them was participating in Galentine’s Day, the unofficial female friendship-centric holiday that takes place on Feb. 13. After a smattering of applause, Williams said, “Well, first of all, if you’re a man and you’re clapping, you’re not even a part of this…I don’t care if you’re gay. You don’t get a mensie 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,” Williams continued. “Gay men, you’ll never be the woman that we are. No matter how gay, sir,” she added, addressing an audience member. (Somewhat ironically, she went on, “It is so scary coming out here and sitting here by myself with my loose mouth and my slick humor…I can’t blame anybody but me.”)
The comments quickly sparked backlash online, with one user writing, “This is not cute. It’s homophobic. Do better.” “That was really uncalled for @WendyWilliams. Gay men do not want to be women,” another wrote.
On Friday, Williams issued a video statement via Twitter, on the verge of tears as she apologized for the remarks.
“I’ll start by saying, I apologize. I did not mean to offend my LGBTQ+ community on yesterday’s show,” Williams said. “I never do the show in a place of malice. I understand my platform with the community.
“I didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. I’m just having a conversation,” she continued. “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.”
Williams recently sparked controversy when she made remarks on her show about Joaquin Phoenix that many perceived as mocking the Oscar winner‘s cleft lip scar, and by accusing Christie Brinkley of faking the injury that forced her to pull out of Dancing With the Stars.