After making some remarks about Joaquin Phoenix's cleft palate on her daytime talk show, Wendy Williams has issued a formal apology to the cleft community. The host was confronted by Canadian Football League player Adam Bighill, who repeatedly tweeted at Williams after her remarks about Phoenix, per PEOPLE. He also revealed his son, Beau, was born with a cleft palate and recently had surgery as a result. Williams not only tweeted a sincere apology but announced two donations as well.
. @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
She also encouraged her 'Wendy Watchers' to "learn more and help support the cleft community."
Williams came under fire this week after making generally positive remarks about the actor's looks.
"When he shaves off his mustache he's got a hairline fracture," she said on her show. "He's got one of those — what do you call it? Cleft lip, cleft palate?"
Bighill was one of several people who pointed out the insensitive connotation of her remarks, which prompted Williams' response and two charitable donations.
Phoenix won the Golden Globe this year for his performance of Arthur Fleck in Joker, where he may or may not have been snubbed by Beyoncé. Now, director Todd Phillips' comic book flick leads this year's Academy Award with a whopping 11 total nominations.
It's been a busy month for the 45-year-old actor. Last week, he was arrested alongside Martin Sheen at Jane Fonda's Fire Drill Friday, a series of protests helmed by Jane Fonda in Washington, D.C. designed to voice support for the Green New Deal and other environmental legislation.
"Something that oftentimes isn't talked about in the environmental movement or in the conversation about climate change is that the meat and dairy industry is the third-leading cause of climate change," Phoenix said at the protest. "I think sometimes we wonder, 'What can we do in this fight against climate change?' And there is something you can do today, right now, and tomorrow by making a choice about what you consume."
It echoed Phoenix's sentiments and the Golden Globes days earlier, where he gave an expletive-laden acceptance speech calling on everyone to do more in addressing climate change.