Look Back at Wendy Williams' Biggest Celebrity Feuds: Joaquin Phoenix, Beyoncé and More

Wendy Williams has come under fire for her comments about Joaquin Phoenix, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and more. To look back at a few examples, check out the gallery.

By Elyse Dupre Jan 16, 2020 4:32 PMTags

Wendy Williams came under fire this week for her comments about Joaquin Phoenix.

The host made a remark about a scar on the actor's upper lip during Tuesday's episode of The Wendy Williams 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 said.

She then proceeded to pull up her top lip. 

"He's got this," she said. "No, I find it to be very attractive."

Many viewers, including Winnipeg Blue Bombers player Adam Bighill, slammed Williams and accused her of mocking people with a cleft palate.

"@WendyWilliams mimics a cleft lip and palate person!!" he tweeted. "I have a cleft lip and palate, so does my son who was just born, her actions are hideous and offensive. Promoting bullying, with her platform, that's IRRESPONSIBLE!! #EndBullying."

Williams later issued an apology.

"@Bighill44 We're thinking about Beau today as he is in surgery," she tweeted. "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."

In an October 2019 cover story, Vanity Fair wrote Phoenix's scar was "not a surgically fixed cleft, he says, but a nonsurgical scar he was born with."

Analyzing Joaquin Phoenix's Dark "Joker" Role: VidBits

This wasn't the first time Williams has made headlines.

To look back at her biggest celebrity feuds, check out the gallery.

Bow Wow

The rapper came under fire in 2019 after he posted a picture of Williams wearing a black bikini and wrote, "They say it's a hot girl summer." Many accused Bow Wow of body-shaming Williams. However, she wasn't afraid to clap back. "Please refrain from your body shame," she said at the time. "You don't have to like it, but someone does." 


Nicki Minaj

After Williams referred to Nicki Minaj's husband Kenneth Petty as a "killer" and a "sex offender," Minaj fired back, calling her "demonic" and "vicious."

"It's not about doing your job," Minaj said on Queen Radio. "There are people who report the news and there are people who do it with an evil intent in their heart, viciousness. And I pray for you because I know you're hurting and I know you must be sick and humiliated."

She later added, "I didn't know that in our society, you have to be plagued by your past. I didn't know that people can't turn over a new leaf. I didn't know that your viciousness and evilness was this deep rooted." 

Ariana Grande

In 2015, Williams was accused of body-shaming Ariana Grande.

"She's 21. She'll forever look 12," Williams reportedly said. "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." 

The comment fueled so much backlash that the hashtag #CancelWendyWilliams was trending.

Kim Zolciak-Biermann

After Williams accused the reality star of staging her 2015 hospitalization and "mini stroke" to gain sympathy for Dancing With the Stars, the Don't Be Tardy celeb clapped back. "Absolutely appalling!! @wendywilliams how disgusting for you to insinuate I 'faked' my mini stroke on your show this morning!! You mad cause I didn't come on your show! This clearly shows your warped mentality!!" she wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of what appeared to be an email inviting Zolciak-Biermann to appear on the show. Zolciak-Biermann did appear on The Wendy Williams Show in 2019.

NeNe Leakes

After Williams shaded Leakes over her Birkin bag in 2014, Leakes issued a reply.

"What you need to do is stop spewing hate!" she wrote in part of an open letter. "When it comes to gossip you are the lowest of the low!" She also explained the bag was for charity.

LeAnn Rimes

After Williams commented on LeAnn Rimes' relationship with Eddie Cibrian in 2010, the singer clapped back.

"All I know is Wendy Williams done pissed my mamma off! I don't wanna be in her path. To say, 'I've reserved myself a place in hell?!' I'm incredibly disappointed to see someone with that kind of platform use it for such negativity and could be so mean and judgmental about a situation they know nothing about," Rimes reportedly wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
She then allegedly added, "I don't like how it happened either, said it a million times, but this is out of control."

Rimes later apologized and even appeared on Williams' show.

"Such a wonderful time on @WendyWilliams today," she tweeted in 2013. "It airs on Wednesday. I adore her!!!"

Lil' Kim

In 2013, Williams commented on Lil Kim's look.

"Do you want to talk about Lil' Kim and that face of hers?" Williams said at the time. She later added, "It's filled so tight now, Kim, it looks like a pin would just pop you." She also later said, "Kim, in my mind, I know your goal was always to look like La Toya Jackson. You've out-La Toya'd La Toya in your new look, and don't blame Photoshopping. Blame your plastic surgeon, girl."

The rapper then blasted the TV host.

"@WendyWilliams Bitch Y didn't u show the side by side pic," the Grammy-winner posted. "This pic is photoshopped & U know it. U hating Bitch."

But during a 2014 HuffPost Live, Williams said they were "cool."


 In 2012, the talk show host described herself as a "Beyoncé fan" and expressed her intent to watch her HBO documentary. However, she felt the Beyhive's sting after she made a comment about the singer's voice. 

 "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," she told her audience at the time. "You know Beyoncé can't talk. Beyoncé sounds like she has a fifth-grade education. She can't talk."

Fans were also buzzing after Williams alleged Queen B and Jay-Z had paid Rachel Roy to stir up some drama ahead of the release of Lemonade.

"So Rachel Roy, first of all, you're not this fighting girl," Williams began. "Unless you're on Jay Z and Beyoncé's payroll, and they pay you to mix it up for I guess sales for the Lemonade."

Will Smith

In his 2005 track "Mr. Nice Guy," Will Smith rapped, "Wendy Williams, you don't know me/ I'm not your punching bag/You gon' blow me up girl you better leave me alone/Before I buy your radio station and send you home." When asked how she felt about the insults in Smith's song—as well as the insults in songs by Mariah Carey, Tupac and Jay Z—Williams told The Hollywood Reporter, "Without those song mentions, I might not be on TV right now. 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."