The shady side of Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams lives for gossip. The radio DJ-turned-talk show host always says it like she means it, no matter who it may offend, and is undoubtedly the queen of spilling the tea. But while Williams' outspoken commentary makes for great entertainment and ratings for The Wendy Williams Show, it has often sparked heated feuds, hurt feelings, backlash, and seemingly endless controversy. 

She's gone after everyone and everything; from Paris Jackson's racial identity, to the sexuality of a slew of high-profile male celebrities, to Kesha's assault allegations against producer Dr. Luke, to even — take a deep breath — Beyoncé's intelligence. Williams even once told her radio audience about a famous rapper's wife's battle with cancer, before he'd even gone public with the information, then had the audacity to accuse him of cheating with his wife's doctor. 

Don't believe us? It's all right here with the shady side of Wendy Williams. 

No love lost for this missing boss

Wendy Williams missed the first of what would be many tapings of her eponymous daytime chat show in late December 2018, according to US Weekly. By the mid-January 2019, Williams delayed her return to the show for a third time, revealing to fans that she required "significant time spent in the hospital" to battle "complications regarding her Graves' Disease," as well as a fractured shoulder. In her absence, a slew of celebrity guest hosts, including Jason Biggs and Nick Cannon, spilled the tea for her to the delight of her devoted fans. But the folks in the studio audience aren't the only ones enjoying Williams' hiatus.

Disgruntled show staffers told Radar Online, "It has been like a vacation having guest hosts. Everyone is laughing and smiling and working together. We all had gotten so used to walking on eggshells around Wendy and Kevin [Hunter, Williams' husband and show producer], we forgot what a fun work environment was." Ouch. The staffers beef with the gossip maven reportedly stems from her alleged "diva behavior," like the claim that she would only interact with certain staff members. "There was so many unwritten rules with working with Wendy," one anonymous staffer said, adding, "You never knew what mood Wendy or Kevin were going to be in."

Ariana apparently isn't Grande enough for Williams

There are tons of celebrities who can't stand Ariana Grande, but even her biggest critics would probably agree that Wendy Williams' bizarre body-shaming rant in 2015 took things too far. 

"She's 21. She'll forever look 12," Williams told her audience (via E! News). "And I don't mean that in a good way. It's nice to look younger than you are, but when you look too young and then you're short — she's only like 4'11"— I don't look at her as, like, a woman."

Grande's loyal fan base swiftly launched the hashtag #CancelWendyWilliams, which began trending on Twitter. Given her history of stirring the pot, we're guessing this won't be the only time this hashtag comes in handy.

She did Method Man real dirty

Fair warning: this one is just heartbreaking. In 2006, Williams announced live on-air that Method Man's wife had cancer. She did so not only without their permission, but before they even had the chance to tell their family and friends.

The rapper recalled that moment, telling AllHipHop: "Wendy gets on the air and said, 'his wife is sick and she not doing too well,' and I'm like this f**king b***h man." He went on, "This [is] the big 'C' [for cancer]. I was ready. I was so mad, I was crying right there and I'm like I'm gonna kill some f**king body and these [Wu-Tang Clan friends] kept me in there, kept me in L.A."

Williams also insinuated that the "I'll Be There For You" rapper, who later dissed her in an online video, had an affair with his wife's doctor. "She said me and [the doctor] was f**king. What kind of s**t is that, man?" he said. "You don't do that to nobody. You say the f**k you want to say about me, say nothing about my family, man." 

Her takes on transgender issues lacked tact

Williams has a long history of making transphobic comments about transgender celebrities.

In 2014, she drew fire for misgendering Chaz Bono during a conversation about trans athlete Chloie Jönsson, who filed a lawsuit after the CrossFit Games refused to let her compete in the women's division. "This is an unfair advantage," Williams said on The Wendy Williams Show (via The Advocate.) "You can take away female or male parts or whatever — it's like Chaz Bono! You know, Chaz is a man now, but I bet she still fights like a girl like the rest of us, and she's not as strong as a man who was born a man."

Following swift backlash from the LGBTQ community, Williams apologized and cited herself as "a long LGBT ally & @GLAAD supporter." However, one year later, Williams sparked outrage again after insinuating that Caitlyn Jenner wasn't a woman. While discussing a Cosmopolitan magazine cover that featured "all the Kardashian women," Williams told her studio audience (via People), "No, not Caitlyn. Caitlyn still has a member. I mean, until you don't — aren't you caught in limbo?"

Williams may want to visit GLAAD's "Tips for Allies of Transgender People" page before she decides to tackle trans issues again.

Whitney Houston did not always love her

One of Williams' most infamous feuds was with none other than Whitney Houston. When she invited the singer onto her radio show in 2003, she repeatedly asked the diva about her alleged drug use, which led to an unforgettable on-air confrontation.

"If this were back in the day in Newark, I'd meet you outside," a fed up Houston warned the host during the heated exchange.

Houston never quite let go of that grudge. The "How Will I Know" singer was reportedly among a number of A-list celebs of color who have refused to guest on Williams' TV show. "Wendy isn't that far removed from her days of bashing black Hollywood's who's who on her radio show, and people have long memories," an insider told the New York Daily News. "Producers are begging the biggest stars in the business to come on the show, but they're getting turned down flat."

Her Aaliyah biopic really ... rocked the boat

Williams served as executive producer of the successful Lifetime biopic, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B—but the film was made against the wishes of the late singer's family and longtime collaborators. Following the movie's 2014 release, former producer Timbaland led a social media backlash against the project.

"I thought it was a joke, but evidently it wasn't," Timbaland said during an interview with Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning (via MTV). "I'm very upset about it. You're showing a mockery on TV." The rapper said the "Are You That Somebody" singer's family felt the same way. "For the first time, I think everybody was all in agreeance on everything when it came to Baby Girl with this bio — it wasn't done right," he said. "It was just done wrong."

Williams' reaction to the criticism essentially amounted to #SorryNotSorry. "I see my Aaliyah movie broke the internet this weekend," she said on her talk show (via MTV). "Everybody's got an opinion. Well, I must tell you: whether you loved or hate, you watched... It was the second highest-rated movie on all of cable this year, so far."

She came for Bey

Yes, Williams has even gone after the queen — well, Queen Bey, that is. While we realize not everyone is a fan of Beyoncé (those people are wrong, by the way), Williams ruffled feathers when she trash talked the "End of Time" singer in one of her more memorable "Hot Topics" segments in 2012. After sharing a preview of Beyoncé's HBO documentary, Life Is But a Dream, the talk show host questioned the singer's intelligence.

"I am a Beyoncé fan," Williams began (via E! News.) "I'm going to be watching this documentary even if she doesn't introduce us to new stuff. I'm watching because fortunately one of the TVs in our kitchen has closed captioning, so I'll be able to understand what she says." At this point, her studio audience began to boo. "You know Beyoncé can't talk. Beyoncé sounds like she has a fifth-grade education. She can't talk."

She doubted Kesha's case against Dr. Luke

In February 2016, a court ruled that Kesha, who was nearing the end of her harrowing legal battle with Dr. Luke, was still contractually tied to the producer/songwriter, despite her allegations of sexual assault and physical and emotional abuse.

"Unfortunately business is business, and it sounds like it's fair," Williams said on her show (via Jezebel.) "If everybody complained because somebody allegedly sexually abused them ... contracts would be broken all the time ... Kesha's no spring chicken. I mean she's like 30 years old? ... So she wasn't stupid 10 years ago and neither was her mother when the sexual abuse — alleged sexual abuse — started, why weren't they rolling camera on it?"

Williams later backed down from her controversial position — sort of. She apologized to Kesha and called her "a hell of a woman (via Jezebel). But she also reiterated her claim that "a lot of people lie about rape so I was just being skeptical, that's what I do." Yeesh. Williams continued, "I wasn't sure but I'm also woman enough to say 'Damn Kesha, I apologize.'... I don't think a lot of women could rise to the occasion the way you did Kesha, you keep going." 

Paris Jackson definitely doesn't rock with Williams

One of Williams longest-running feuds is with the Jackson family, but things came to a head in 2017 when she criticized Paris Jackson's racial identity.

In January 2017, an 18-year-old Paris told Rolling Stone, "[Michael Jackson] is my father. He will always be my father... I consider myself black."

Williams took issue with that. "I get that she considers herself black and everything, but I'm just talking about the visual," the talk show host said on her show. "Because you know...black is not what you call yourself, it's what the cops see when they got steel to your neck on the turnpike. But that's cute, and good for her."

Jackson fired back on Twitter. "She seems to think about the family a lot considering she makes all these claims about us. Why are we on her mind so often?" 

Celebrity leaked nudes? NBD

To say that Williams didn't have the most feminist take on the massive 2014 celebrity nude photo hackings may be putting it lightly. The talk show host took on the scandal following Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence's emotional interview with Vanity Fair

"I didn't tell you that you could look at my naked body," the Hunger Games star told the outlet. "It's my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting."

Williams' response? "Um, it's not your choice, it's in the Cloud and I've looked several times, so I' guess I'm disgusting for looking?" she quipped on The Wendy Williams Show. She then encouraged her audience to "clap if you've looked at Jennifer Lawrence's hacking pictures."  Williams then directed her monologue at the actress, curiously claiming that although the scandal made "[Lawrence's] career even hotter," if Lawrence "would just stop talking about the Cloud and the naked pictures," the problem would "go away."

She takes as much as she dishes out

Williams seemingly has no qualms about spreading rumors, but one of the worst tales the shock jockette ever promoted emerged on her Hot 97 radio show when she insinuated that legendary rapper 2Pac (real name Tupac Shakur) was raped in jail in the '90s.

2Pac wasn't pleased. "I got a beef with Wendy Williams saying I got raped in jail because that ­disrespected me, my family and what I represent," he told Angie Martinez of Hot 97 (via Billboard). He later retaliated against Williams via his music. On "Why U Turn On Me," 2Pac took aim at Williams' weight, spitting, "I'll put Jenny Craig on your fat *ss/ Why you always wearing spandex?" " 

The musical diss — one of many Williams has received over the course of her career — was apparently no skin off her nose. "Without those song mentions, I might not be on TV right now," she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2012. "There is a large segment who may have never heard about me on the radio, but they heard Tupac tell me I needed to go to Jenny Craig. Or Mariah Carey tell me that I'm all up in her business. So I love them for that."

Wait, is she Team Terry or not?

When Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault scandal broke in October 2017, Terry Crews claimed that he had been sexually assaulted by talent agent Adam Venit in 2016. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star was lauded by many for sharing his story and for filing a report with the Los Angeles Police Department, but Williams seemed less than impressed, and her confusing comments stirred up controversy.

When asked on her show if she thought Crews was courageous for breaking his silence, Williams said, "No, it's not brave—he's just talking. But it may have a really negative affect on his career. Do you know what I mean? Being all black and being all chatty... It will, in my opinion, affect his career."

"I'm glad that Terry came forward to expose [him]," she added. "Unfortunately, I feel that in the race war that's going on in this country still — we don't want to acknowledge it — but still, Terry will suffer. But good for you, Terry. And shame on you, bald man."

Daytime talk shows and neurology are basically the same, right?

When the The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak-Biermann suffered a mini stroke in 2015, Wendy Williams cast doubts on the legitimacy of the health scare.

"She allegedly suffered a mini-stroke after returning home from Dancing With the Stars last week," Williams said on her show (via People). "Now Kim is 37 years old and, you know, she's got six children. She looks terrific, you know, and by the way, the reality show it cute but, Kim, my thought is, um, I hope you're not fibbing about the stroke." She continued, "Kim, at 37 years old, if you did have a mini stroke, I'm sorry to hear about that. If, however, you just wanted to get off Dancing With the Stars, all you had to do was just stub your toe."

Zolciak-Biermann quickly took to social media to blast Williams' comments. "Absolutely appalling!! @wendywilliams how disgusting for you to insinuate I 'faked' my mini stroke on your show this morning!!" the reality star wrote on Instagram. "You mad cause I didn't come on your show! This clearly shows your warped mentality!!"

Just don't ask Wendy Williams about institutional racism

Wendy Williams' controversial take on Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams' powerful pro-Black speech at the BET Awards in 2016 drew significant backlash.

"His speech was very poignant," Williams said on her show (via BET.) "On the other hand, I would be really offended if there was a school that was known as a historically white college. We have historically Black colleges. What if there was the National Organization for White People, only? There's the NAACP."

Even her adoring studio audience grew silent. "Look, everybody's quiet. You're leaving me out here to dry by myself?" she quipped. "National speeches like this will always rub people the wrong way just like white people will be offended because Spelman College is a historically Black college for women. You might feel funny about that. I know I'd feel funny."

Needless to say, Williams was subsequently hammered on Twitter, and The Wendy Williams Show even lost one of its major sponsors when Chevy chose to walk away from an endorsement deal. In the wake of the fallout, the talk show host reportedly fired three of her show's producers as scapegoats.

A bully with a microphone

In the '90s, Williams became notorious for alleging that various male celebrities, including the likes of Tyler Perry, LL Cool J, and Usher, were gay. She'd do so live on-air and without any proof. Karma eventually caught up with the radio DJ when she decided to talk about Sean "P Diddy" Combs' sexuality. According to VH1, the "Bad Boys For Life" rapper retaliated by getting her kicked off the air.

In 2017, Combs and Williams ended their nearly 20-year feud when he appeared as a guest on The Wendy Williams Show. "I know I pissed a lot of people off, including you," Williams said, as Combs nodded in agreement (via BET). "But this is a full-circle moment, everybody. Get into adult conversation."