Hate her or love her; but when anyone speaks of legends and icons in the entertainment business (specifically the radio industry), one name will always be mentioned... the “Queen of Gossip” Wendy Williams.
Wendy, the big personality, who has never been afraid to spill the tea and reveal some of the top celebrities' dirty laundry was doing it before we had the accessibility of the internet. Although Wendy was and still is a trailblazer, the world was not ready for her style of rawness and unapologetic way of dishing the hottest news.
For decades, we were use to Wendy delivering her daily, hot topics; but slowly, Wendy started to become the hot topic with her life being presented to the world on a sliver platter for all to see and criticize. For some, this was Karma biting Wendy in the butt. After going through a highly-publicized divorce, Wendy has decided to finally take back the narrative and tell her story. She will no longer allow the world to assume or speculate what she has lived; and who can tell her story better than herself.
Teaming up with the home of the Biopics; Wendy brings her story to the Lifetime Network, taking us on the Wendy Experience from childhood to the ending of her 22-year marriage. It is often said, you never know the path that someone has taken that has made them the person they are today; we, clearly, see which life events shaped and molded Wendy.
From a young age, we discover that Wendy had a horrifying experience when it came to body imagine; she was shamed at a young age for being a bigger size than most girls in her age group. She was forced to start a diet and the age of nine, only being able to eat tuna and mustard. Deeper into her story, she talks about her addiction to cocaine and how she used it as weight control; leveling her to a specific weight, while also keeping her awake during her overnight shifts as a radio host.
One of the shocking moments that we learn during the movie is Wendy being taken advantage of and date raped by a well-known artist, however, although violated, Wendy never revealed his identity or talked about the incident. She's since decided to move as if it never happened. Although Wendy decided to move on, that pivotal moment in her life changed her way of thinking and she promised herself that she would never let anyone else ever shush her. That was a promise that Wendy took to heart when it came to her career; so if the streets were talking you better believe Wendy would get a hold of the juicy rumors and air you out, with so many artist hating her she still managed to have the number one radio show so as she said “ where else could they go to promote their music.”
With a booming career and surrounded by the biggest walls to protect herself from hurt Wendy is still as soft as a teddy bear and was intrigued with the idea of love; during the movie we learn how Wendy met her now ex husband Kevin Hunter and we learn of the painful struggles that took an emotional toll on Wendy after carrying two babies to 5 months and losing both babies. Ultimately, we see the precautions that Wendy took to carry her only son Kev Jr to full term, after giving birth to her gift we see where the trouble in her marriage begins. Kevin has a series of affairs, but being vulnerable and willing to keep her family together Wendy would forgive Kevin each time and covering up her true feelings by throwing herself into her work to keep busy and focusing on being a mother to Kev Jr.
Wendy being the forgiving women that most of us can relate to tried over and over to keep her family together for her son, but at some point we all get to that breaking point where enough is enough, that moment hits us all at different times in life we step back and realize its time for me to make myself a priority, and Wendy did just that; after having a 10+ affair with a Sharina Hudson which resulted in her becoming pregnant, Wendy filed for divorce and ended her marriage with Kevin. If you want to take walk in her size 11s as Wendy would say I suggest that you take time to get all the juicy “deets” from Wendy herself as she gives us the goods about her own life. So, pull up your favorite “purple chair”, get you a cup of hot tea, drop your throat lozenges in your tea, and lean in because Wendy is the hot topic for today. “How You Doin?”
When I first heard of the possibility of there being a Wendy Williams bio pic in the works, I always thought who could bring Wendy to life and bring us all drama, all emotion, and all rawness’s. After seeing the movie and watching actress Ciera Payton take on all that is Wendy from the mannerism down to that Jersey girl accent I felt like I was watching Wendy herself; granted we don’t get to hear Ciera speak that famous line “How You Doin?”; Ciera still served us a plate of Wendy fierceness. Recently Ciera sat down with a media junction to speak about all things Wendy Williams.
When asked what did portraying Wendy teach you about yourself. Ciera paused before answering this question and responded with some words of wisdom something that we as women might have to constantly remind ourselves, she said “ It taught me that I’m way stronger than I thought I was and I learned that’s its okay to be seen; you have light and its okay when people don’t appreciate that light.”
Sometimes people suffer in silence and you will get a sense of that throughout the movie so when Ciera was asked What was the most chilling scene that stuck with you that you won’t forget? Ciera said ,” With Wendy Williams you don’t imagine that she went through any of that stuff and sustained so long; its so layered from the miscarriages, to the relationships, to the drug use; I mean all of those scenes, none of it was easy at all to film, to live and step into.”
We all love a movie that gives us a mixture of both inspiration and entertainment and Ciera believes that this biopic will do just that. When asked what do you hope viewers will take away from this film? Ciera simply said “Its two folds for me I want people to be so inspired by this woman’s story, but also I want people to be entertained, I think that’s why people watch Wendy Williams because she keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time and this is the movie format of that.”
Wendy Williams The Movie airs January 30th @ 8pm on Lifetime
Followed by documentary special “Wendy Williams: What a Mess!” at 10pm on Lifetime
"In this feature length documentary, Wendy Williams, the self-anointed Queen of all Media, sheds her private persona and speaks directly to the camera, discussing every inch of joy and humiliation she has experienced since childhood. From her apartment in Manhattan, we’re with Wendy during the course of her divorce, as she deals with being a ‘Hot Topic’ and finds a way to right her ship again. It’s a raw, no holds barred look with never-before heard truths about Wendy’s notorious feuds with celebrities, her shocking divorce, her childhood and the private darkness she has endured. This is the story of a self-made woman who finds herself at the start of a new life, uncertain of the future, but ready to reclaim her crown. The documentary is produced by eOne and Creature Films for Lifetime. Executive producers include Wendy Williams, Tara Long, Mark Ford, Kevin Lopez, Sarah Girgis and Joie Jacoby. Brie Miranda Bryant and Gena McCarthy serve as executive producers for Lifetime."