Wendy Williams Owes Britney Spears a Major Apology
The talk show host recently wished “death” to Spears’ family over the pop star’s conservatorship, but Williams has her own history of mocking Spears’ mental health.
It’s been nearly three weeks since Britney Spears delivered shocking testimony about spending the past 13 years under a “traumatizing” conservatorship. Since then, the pop icon has received an outpouring of support from fans and reignited the #FreeBritney campaign.
In Spears’ 23-minute address to the court, she claimed that she felt constantly “drunk” when on her prescribed lithium medication, compared her situation to being sex trafficked, and admitted she’s so depressed that she cries every day.
But perhaps the most heartbreaking aspect of it all was Spears’ own admission that she kept quiet because she didn’t think anyone would believe her. “It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I’ve been through,” she confessed. “And that’s the main reason I’ve never said it openly.”
Dozens of celebrities voiced their support of Spears in the wake of her testimony, with Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus, Courtney Love, Madonna, and Christina Aguilera all championing Spears’ efforts to free herself from the grips of the conservatorship and her father Jamie Spears.
It also earned Spears some long-deserved apologies from her critics, including Perez Hilton, the self-declared gossip king of the aughts, who said he carries “deep shame and regret” over the abhorrent comments he made about Spears over the years.
Still, there was a glaring mea culpa missing, from one of Spears’ most vocal critics: Wendy Williams.
But what makes the lack of apology even more shocking is that The Wendy Williams Show host suddenly changed her tune on Spears’ plight, coming out guns blazing against Spears’ parents after the singer’s court hearing. “Death to all of them,” Williams snarled toward Jamie and Lynne Spears, drawing gasps from the audience.
The gossip queen shrugged off controversy over whether she’d crossed the line with her remarks. And in the days following Spears’ hearing, Williams continued to cover Spears’ ongoing legal battle with a decisively different tone—conveniently failing to address her own role in perpetuating the narrative that plagued Spears since she was placed under the conservatorship in 2008.
Williams has consistently talked about Spears on her talk show, cracking jokes about the pop star’s mental health, frequently paying a licensing fee to flash the infamous photo of shaved-headed Spears attacking a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella, speculating about her alleged drug use, and snickering about Spears having a “a ticky ticky boom.”
In 2012, Williams laughed about her former manager’s claims that Spears was addicted to crystal meth, suggesting the singer had shaved her head to avoid failing a drug test.
When it was rumored in 2016 that Spears wanted her own reality show to focus on her new music, her Las Vegas residency, and raising her two young kids, Williams declared it a horrible idea. She suggested that Spears had a “screw loose” and worried her two young sons were at an age where they could access Google and read past coverage about her struggles.
“Just when you think I don’t have a heart, I do have a heart. We can spend a whole season just talking about Britney being a mess,” she concluded, before moving on to another segment.
Later that year she poked fun at Spears for having her hair extension tracks poking out while headed to court, quipping “some of the old Britney is still there.”
Over the years, Williams’ opinion of Spears never wavered, with the daytime talk show host going out of her way to sneer at her for looking disheveled in 2019, maintaining that she appeared to be in “a very bad place,” and as recently as February 2020 said Spears “needed to be controlled.”
Discussing Spears’ fight to gain 50/50 custody of her two teenage sons with her ex Kevin Federline, she asked her audience to clap if they thought Spears “looked fine.”
“I always feel that kids should be with their mother over the father,” Williams said. “But in this particular case, you have to wonder why he has 70 percent custody, still. Because that umbrella thing happened years ago, right? Britney sure can take medication to level her out to be a reasonable mother to these kids.”
While she was ripping into Spears, Williams praised Jamie and his handling of the conservatorship and cast doubt on Lynne’s claims that Jamie compared Spears to a “workhorse” in November 2020, calling Spears’ father “a good man.”
Discussing the bombshell documentary Framing Britney Spears, Williams said it made her want to “back” Jamie even more. “The documentary didn’t make me feel confused,” she stated. “Britney is not well. I would love to leave Britney alone if Britney and her whole family would stay out of the way of Hot Topics. If you have control over her Instagram, shut that down.”
While Williams has changed her tune on Spears’ conservatorship and the Spears family in the wake of the horrified reaction to Spears’ testimony, she has yet to apologize for the way she discussed Spears on her show. She has taken no accountability for openly mocking Spears’ mental health struggles and ultimately playing into what Spears said she was most afraid of: people not believing her.
The closest Williams came to addressing her flipped position was when she wished death to Spears’ family, although her comments have since been removed from the episode. “By the way, I’m part of the army now,” Williams said. “I’m there. How dare you! I don’t like any of them! Fire everyone and escape now, Britney.”
This wouldn’t be the first time Williams has been tight-lipped about offering an apology after one of her harsh takes drew criticism. She found herself in hot water after mocking the death of sex therapist Amie Harwick, and just last week, Williams outraged many while callously discussing the murder of TikTok star Swavy, real name Matima Miller.
Before breaking the news of the 19-year-old’s death to her audience, an annoyed Williams asked her crowd of mostly older women if anyone had ever heard of the teen before. When they didn’t, she huffed, “He’s got more followers than me, 2.5 million.”
Her producer Norman Baker tried to placate Williams by reassuring her that she had more followers on Instagram, but Williams shot back that “no one uses Instagram anymore.”
“So here he is, he’s 19…,” Williams trails off. “And he was murdered Monday morning,” to the shocked reaction of her audience. “Aw, all those followers,” Williams added. “Yeah, that’s really tragic.”
News of Williams’ heartless comments made its way to the teen’s mother, Chanelle Clark, who is still “mentally going through it because... I seen my son shot down in the street.”
“As a mother, Wendy Williams, how dare you,” Clark said. “So disrespectful. I used to watch you as a child and even though you have a gossip show and all that, you didn’t even know my son.”