A strange couple of weeks continues for Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker star found himself the subject of some jokes from television personality Wendy Williams. The daytime star joke about how she was attracted to the actor when he shaves his facial hair. Then she proceeded to pantomime what a cleft lip looks like as she mentioned his scar. For the record, the scar on Phoenix’s lip is non-surgical and he was born with it according to Vanity Fair. But, nevertheless, when the clip made the rounds on social media, people flipped out. Some of them didn’t like the idea of targeting people with cleft palates for a pretty cheap joke.
DOES AN APOLOGY MAKE UP FOR THIS pic.twitter.com/Su0OHB8hTG— Cher (@cher) January 16, 2020
It wasn’t long before other public figures got involved. Adam Bighill plays football in Canada and used the moment to bring awareness to the people struggling with the birth defect all across the world. He told the story of his son Beau and criticized the segment. Williams apologized and donated to Operation Smile and the American Cleft Palate while encouraging her viewers to do the same.
We are still waiting for a @WendyWilliams apology to the cleft community.
Outside of that, seeing everyone come together on social media to rally around her comments and actions has been truly amazing.January 12, 2020
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. https://t.co/JmYnRb8C8t— Adam Bighill (@Bighill44) January 16, 2020
. @Bighill44 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.— Wendy Williams (@WendyWilliams) January 16, 2020
But, that apology wasn’t enough to some. Cher wasn’t quite convinced by the tweet. But, Bighill stood up accepted the apology and the well-wishes. No word on whether or not Joaquin Phoenix has commented on the story yet. Needless to say, it was a reminder to everyone involved that words have power and we should think twice about saying hurtful things, especially when things travel very far now.
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