Wendy Williams is in danger of losing major sponsorship for her show, after she’s been accused of supporting R. Kelly and blasting the #MeToo movement.
Plus, the show’s syndication company Debmar-Mercury are concerned about it and asked her to stop defending the singer.
According to DailyMail, things took a turn for the worse during a May episode when Williams asked her audience if they would mind if Kelly came on as a guest.
On top of that, after Now the Women of Color — which is a subset of Time’s Up — began the #MuteRKelly campaign, the TV host stuck up for the singer.
“I’m not going to even belabor the point,” said Williams. “I know things about R. Kelly that I will take to my grave unless he tells them.”
As it’s been widely reported, Kelly has been accused by several young women of abuse and sexual misconduct. In addition, his ex-wife Andrea recently spoke out and said he abused her throughout their 10-year marriage.
But during one of her segments, Williams placed blame on the parents of those young women for letting their daughters be around Kelly and also said he can’t read or write.
“He actually did admit this to me. I was shocked he was actually admitting this, because he can’t read, he can’t write and he can’t add,” she explained. “I won’t tell you about how he maneuvers through the world … I can’t understand not knowing how to read, write or add, and I don’t understand parents who unleash their kids.”
Then in an episode that aired on January 25, 2018, Williams spoke out against the #MeToo movement and included Kelly in her argument.
“I’m sick of this #MeToo movement,” she stated. “I love that people are speaking up for the first time and coming out and everything, but now … I look at all men like, ‘You’re a #MeToo.’ All of them, which is not fair.”
Then in that same episode, the 53-year-old talked about Kelly’s 1994 marriage to Aaliyah, when he was 27 and she was 15.
“R. Kelly wasn’t a #MeToo,” said Williams. “Aaliyah voluntarily married him when she was 15 years old. Her parents voluntarily let her do it.”
The timing of those remarks couldn’t have come at a worse period, said the insider, especially in this day and age when there are so many women empowerment groups.
“It’s those type of flippant remarks that have people thinking she’s victim bashing,” the source explained.
Network executives also expressed concern for Williams’ comments and asked her to stop defending Kelly.
“They were straight up,” said the insider. “[They said] if you lose advertisers over this it’s going to be a problem. So it’s time to take a different approach to R. Kelly before your talk show is gone and you’re having to go on the road and open up for him.”
And Williams did take a different approach, because in an episode that aired on May 22 she seemingly changed her stance on Kelly and said he needs to be arrested.
“At this point, what do you say? R. Kelly is apparently guilty of a lot of things,” she stated. “The law just has to catch up to the accusations … I think more girls will probably come out and tell their stories … Where are the cops? How long will it take before another young lady comes out, and they can ban together and call Gloria Allred or her daughter? R. Kelly, you need to lie on that sword.”
But according to the source, the New Jersey native didn’t change her opinion on Kelly because she wanted to, it was about keeping herself on the air.
“Wendy loves her job,” said the insider. “She lives to be on TV every day. The last thing she’s going to do is intentionally jeopardize this dream opportunity, not even for R. Kelly.”