Dear Wendy Williams, stop doing black female artists a disservice
12 March 2018
Wendy, Wendy, Wendy. How you dzoin'? Feeling better yet? I heard you'll be back 19 March so in your absentia, I decided to unpack just why it is you're so popular. And this is it.
Wendy Williams is a daytime talk show host who solicits ratings by berating famous faces in the very industry she makes a living from. Now, I know at this point, your fans are reading this are telling me to grow up and get sense of humour but they'll change their minds. No one minds a jab here and there but yours, Wendy, is track record of unnecessary trolling. Even that I would be okay with but the sole reason I'm writing you today is because something in particular bothers me.
As a black woman, I feel you should be spending your energies empowering other black women. But you don't. Quite the opposite, in fact. You choose ratings at the expense of defaming black women and that will never be okay.
So to help you get back from you ill-health-induced hiatus, I have concocted five anecdotes of your own medicine.
Whitney Houston This interview with Whitney Houston will arguably go down as one of the most infamous interviews in entertainment. This was your early days as a radio DJ and in this very interview you express your wish to have a TV show one day. Between then and the realistion of your wish you learned nothing. You offered gross inaccuracies here about Whitney's album sales and you even tried to provoke her for her Diane Sawyer interview. I think Diane's interview was definitely skewed against her but Diane is a white woman. You are a black woman. Like Whitney. I'm not asking you to save Whitney (which you can't do now anyway) but if you're going to say you respect her as an artist, act that way.
Nicki Minaj A year ago, you had Rick Ross come on your show to talk about his rich life, his mansion and a new song he had out at the time. In that song, he warns Meek Mill about dating Nicki Minaj which you went ahead a probed and probed and probed. When you couldn't get anything out of Rick, you suggested that the warning came about because she might be too controlling. Why would it matter to you what a man said about another black woman? You sat there and enabled his trash behaviour where you could've called him out on it.
But just as with Whitney, you have a knack for obsessing over people -- black women. So later that same year, you pit Nicki against Remy Ma i.e. a black woman against another black woman. I know they had their own fallout but yet again, here was an opportunity for you to help but you decided to fuel the flame instead.
Do you think Nicki Minaj is afraid to face Remy Ma?
Janet Jackson Let me start by saying that whatever you're paying Elvis Duran isn't enough. The fact that an entire segment dedicated to trolling people opens with a white man singing your praises -- I mean, you just can't make this stuff up. Anyway. Name me the artist whose had a No. 1 album across four decades. The same Miss Janet Damita Jo Jackson who you came for. And that includes the album from the comeback which you slated. Those tickets you were so concerned about? She went back on tour - she took time off to have a baby - and honoured her shows.
Toni Braxton This was just low down fake news. Toni Braxton is trying to be a trap queen? Nope, nope and nope. And even if she was, your ageism in relation to her is unbecoming.
So, we're clear, I listened to "Heart Away" and you can listen to it below as well. It's not trap. And that's that on that.
Beyonce I won't spend too much time here because this story truly speaks for itself. For whatever wild reason, you, Wendy, got it into your head that Beyonce is jealous of Adele. So you tweeted this. Thanks for not deleting the tweet because I needed this receipt for this piece.
But what you did delete is the clip from your show where you discuss this purported jealousy as seen on your website. And that speaks volumes.
Janet Jackson (again), Beyonce (again) and Jennifer Lopez Fergie had a tough time with the national anthem earlier this month. Stacy Ferguson - a white woman. For whatever reason, you decided to bring two black women and a Latino woman into the discussion. Black Twitter has dragged you for filth on Beyonce's behalf but let me be the one to say hands of Janet and J-Lo.
I do hope you get better. I would never wish ill-health on anyone - not even my worst enemy. And you're not my enemy - we don't know each other. But I know about your work and it's terrible setback for everything black women have to face every day. I hope that your time off gave you an opportunity to reflect what's important so that the next letter I write you will be to thank you.
Get well soon.
Rifumo is a music writer and the founder of FDBQ Music who pretends to be a copywriter for his 9-to-5. Twitter: @rifvmo