The talk show host was accused of “coaxing laughter” from her audience before revealing the 19-year-old was shot to death.
Wendy Williams found herself in hot water for a segment on her show that many fans deemed inappropriate.
During Wednesday’s episode, Williams used her “Hot Topics” to discuss TikTok star Swavy, who was fatally shot on Monday at the age of 19.
“I have no idea who this person is, neither does one person in this building,” Wendy began, before asking the audience to clap if they had heard of Swavy. After a few responded positively, Wendy said, “Well, he’s a TikTok star. He’s got more followers than me.”
Although it was noted Wendy had more followers on Instagram than Swavy, the talk show host wasn’t impressed because her son told her no one uses Instagram anymore. After almost a minute of the stat chatter, a photo of Swavy was posted behind Wendy, who appeared unimpressed with it, before she announced, “Here he is. He’s 19 and he was murdered Monday morning.”
An audible gasp arose from the audience.
After a clip of the segment went viral, the backlash was swift, as one fan wrote, “She is so hateful. Like, she basically treated the announcement of his death like it was funny gossip. Why disparage him? Why even talk about him at all if you and your audience are that removed from even knowing who he is?”
Another posted, “She really coaxed laughter from the audience before announcing this young man’s murder,” while one critic chimed in, saying, “Wait. This was how she chose to lead the segment talking about this young man’s death? We all know Wendy to be messy and with the sh—, but this wasn’t cool at all. I don’t know this man, but may he rest in peace. I’m sorry his friends and family had to see this. Wow.”
However, one follower defended Wendy, saying the viral clip was only a “snippet” of the show and Wendy did go on to call the situation “tragic.” And another supporter suggested Wendy just happens to have a “weird delivery” as the person shared a clip of Wendy awkwardly announcing her own mother’s death.
Keep reading for more reactions, below.