Michelle Wolf Post-WHCD Speech Backlash: ‘I Wouldn’t Change a Single Word’
After receiving tough backlash about her speech at the 2018 White House Correspondence Dinner, comedian Michelle Wolf told NPR radio she wouldn’t change a thing. “I knew what I was doing going in. I wanted to do something different,” she said. “I didn’t want to cater to the room. I wanted to cater to the outside audience, and not betray my brand of comedy.”
“I wouldn’t change a single word that I said,” Wolf added. “I’m very happy with what I said, and I’m glad I stuck to my guns.”
Michelle Wolf‘s White House Correspondents’ Dinner monologue raised a few eyebrows — both in the audience and on social media.
The debate continues on Twitter about which jokes may have gone too far and if the comedian should have used this platform in a different way. However, it’s now clear where the White House Correspondents’ Association stands: President Margaret Talev released a statement confirming the organization was not happy about her remarks.
“Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people,” she wrote. “Unfortunately the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.”
— WHCA (@whca) April 30, 2018
Talev also called out Wolf for her comment about Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was seated onstage during the dinner, and thanked Sanders (who is the White House Press Secretary) for her “grace through the program.”
The joke was: “She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”
Morning Joe‘s Mika Brzezinski tweeted,
Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable. I have experienced insults about my appearance from the president. All women have a duty to unite when these attacks happen and the WHCA owes Sarah an apology.
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) April 29, 2018
And NY Times White House correspondent, Maggie Haberman, said,
That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 29, 2018
Wolf responded on Twitter with, “Why are you guys making this about Sarah’s looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials … All these jokes were about her despicable behavior.”
And plenty of the Daily Show alum’s fellow comedians and actors stuck by her:
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) April 29, 2018
They call you liars. They call Mexicans rapists. They call Muslims murderers. They support white supremacists. But someone calls them out on what they do, & suddenly they’re heroes for not walking out. https://t.co/B9aT7moy2C
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) April 29, 2018
I attended the WHCD last night. Donald Trump has so poisoned the atmosphere by attacking the disabled, gold star parents, Muslims, Mexicans, Blacks, women, the press, the rule of law that a comedian who simply tells the truth is offensive? She’s joking. He’s not.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) April 29, 2018
If you’re part of the press whining about Michelle Wolf’s WHCD speech yet shrugging at the hateful rhetoric from 45’s speech last night, make no mistake you are part of the problem.
And you’re only upset bc deep down you know Wolf’s speech was true.
— Cher (@thecherness) April 29, 2018
Dear “the media” – @michelleisawolf was FUNNY. Hire a juggler next year.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 29, 2018
M) I’ll tell you what has the media so upset, because @michelleisawolf told the truth about them last night and the role they played in allowing Trump’s rise. They hate to be called out on their bullshit, it’s painful..I get it. But she said what needed to be said.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) April 29, 2018
Watch the full, uncensored speech below: