On Tuesday, The Wendy Williams Show host made an insensitive comment about a scar the Joker actor has above his lip during the "Hot Topics" segment of her show. "When he shaves off his mustache, he's got a hairline fracture, he's got one of those — what do you call it? Cleft lip, cleft palate," she told the audience, pulling her lip up to further mock the condition.
While Phoenix has never publicly addressed the origin of his scar, the Golden Globe winner did describe it as "not a surgically fixed cleft" but a "nonsurgical scar he was born with" in a 2019 interview with Vanity Fair.
Shortly after the show, the controversial star received backlash from upset viewers. Among them was Cher, who has been an ally for the cleft palate community. "THESE ARE THE PPL @WendyWilliams IS MAKING FUN OF," she tweeted, replying to a tweet that featured images of the "Believe" singer meeting with cleft palette sufferers.