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Wendy Williams tearfully apologizes after facing backlash for comments about gay men

"I did not mean to offend my LGBTQ+ community on yesterday’s show," she said in a video posted Friday to her social media accounts.
Wendy's Season 10 Tour - Atlanta, Georgia
Wendy Williams apologized to the LGBTQ+ community after facing backlash for saying men should "stop wearing our skirts and heels."Paras Griffin / Getty Images
/ Source: NBC News

Wendy Williams was slammed for saying gay men should "stop wearing our skirts and our heels" on an episode of her daytime talk show that aired Thursday.

During the Hot Topics gossip segment of "The Wendy Williams Show," she asked who in the audience would be celebrating Galentine's Day, the Valentine's Day alternative popularized on the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation."

"Well, first of all, if you're a man and you're clapping, you're not even a part of this," Williams said. "You don't even understand the rules of the day. It's women going out and getting saucy and then going back home. You're not a part."

"I don't care if you're gay," Williams said, adding that gay men don't menstruate every 28 days. "You can do a lot that we do, but I get offended by the idea that we go through something you will never go through."

Williams went on to say: "And stop wearing our skirts and our heels," which some interpreted as a dig at "Pose" star Billy Porter. "Just sayin' girls, what do we have for ourselves?"

Representatives for Williams and her show declined to comment Thursday.

Her remarks drew applause from the audience and swift backlash online.

"I say this as someone who once made a (very, very, very small) name for himself writing takedown pieces about celebs who said homophobic (and other stupid) sh--," one Twitter user wrote, "— but @WendyWilliams is just a mess and really isn't worth your rage and it'd be better spent on someone/thing worthier."

Another tweet said: "@WendyWilliams really? What sort of ignorance is coming out of your mouth regarding gay men wanting to be women!! Really Wendy?"

"#WendyWilliams going on an anti #trans rant for no good reason. Whining about periods as though periods are what's most important about women," someone else tweeted. "Sorry, Wendy. You're not the decider of who can be a woman. Every person gets to decide who they are."

A handful of Twitter users defended Williams, who spent more than 20 years as a radio show host before she began hosting "The Wendy Williams Show" in 2008.

"Wendy Williams called out the appropriation of womanhood and I'm LOVING IT," said one tweet.

While another tweet said: "Thank you for saying what we as women want to scream everyday."

Later in the segment, she said she stands by what she says on her show.

"So, you know, I tell you every day, and I mean this, and I'm going to keep drilling it in your mind: It is so scary coming out here and sitting here by myself with my loose mouth and my slick humor," Williams said. "And, you know, I'm by myself. I can't blame anybody but me."

"I say it, and I mean it," she added.

On Friday, Williams apologized for her remarks in a video posted to her social media accounts.

"I’ll start by saying, I apologize. I did not mean to offend my LGBTQ+ community on yesterday’s show," Williams said.

"I’m very persnickety about how I do my show and one thing I can tell you right now, is that I never do the show in a place of malice,” she said. ”I understand my platform with the community from first grade to intermediate school to high school to college to radio, and now to TV ... I didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. I’m just having a conversation. If you know me long enough, then you know."

Williams, who is 55, said, "live and let live every day. Life is too short."

She said that she maybe sounded like "somebody out of touch."

"I’m not out of touch. Except for perhaps yesterday by saying what I said," Williams said. "So I deeply apologize and I deeply appreciate the support that I get from the community. I will do better."