Wendy Williams’ parents ‘horrified’ by documentary

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By journalsofus.com


Wendy Williams’ court-appointed guardian tried to block the release of a Lifetime documentary about the talk show host, telling a court last month she was “horrified” by its portrayal of Williams as an “drunkard” and a “laughing stock.” ” Was.

The Guardian, Sabrina Morrissey, asked “Where’s Wendy Williams?” Received a temporary restraining order to keep the two-part series titled Secret.

But A+E Networks, Lifetime’s parent company, and Entertainment One were quickly able to overturn that order on February 23, with an appellate judge ruling it constituted an “unreasonable prior restraint on speech” under the First Amendment. The show aired the following weekend.

The fight between the parent and the network has been reported before. But more details became available Thursday, when a New York judge ordered the unsealing of most court records in the case.

After battling medical problems, Williams ended his 14-year tenure as a nationally syndicated talk show host two years ago. Around the same time, Wells Fargo froze her accounts, fearing that she was suffering from dementia and possibly being financially exploited.

That action resulted in the appointment of a guardian. Williams was ultimately diagnosed with frontotemporal lobe dementia and progressive aphasia in May 2023.

By that time, Williams had signed a contract to make the documentary. His son, Kevin Hunter Jr. and manager, William Selby, were involved as producers. Williams is listed as executive producer.

However, according to the Guardian, Williams lacked and continues to lack the capacity to consent to the contract. According to her complaint, Morrissey nevertheless allowed production to proceed with the understanding that nothing would be released without his approval and court approval.

Morrissey placed limits on filming and told Selby that she would not allow the filming of Williams’ medical appointments. And at a certain point, the Guardian refused to allow Williams to participate in further interviews.

“In the months that followed, Selby repeatedly asked if (Williams) could participate in additional filming, stating that A+E wanted to film additional episodes,” the complaint states. “The Guardian made it clear that due to (Williams’s) medical condition no further filming or interviews would take place.”

The complaint alleges that Morrissey was completely taken aback by the trailer, which was released on February 2. Neither he nor the Court had signed off on the release of the project.

She also alleged that Selby had assured her that it would be a positive portrayal, “like a phoenix rising from the ashes.”

“However, the trailer makes it clear that the documentary is anything but positive,” the complaint states. “Instead, it cruelly portrays (Williams) as deeply confused and dysregulated, even though he is clearly incompetent due to his medical conditions.”

Morrissey was “horrified” to see that Williams’ medical condition as a result of alcohol was exploited and misrepresented and portrayed in a “derogatory, insulting manner”.

Morrissey feared that the series would “ruin his legacy, and destroy his remaining earning potential by portraying him as a drunkard and a laughing stock.”

Williams’ relatives have been critical of the conservatorship, and the series reflects that viewpoint. In the complaint, Morrissey argued that the trailer falsely suggests that Williams’ “degrading condition has been caused or worsened by the conservatorship.”

Williams’ sister and son appear in the series to express their objections to the guardian, who are not identified by name, and their view that their family should be in charge of their care.

After the series aired, Diversity Chief TV critic Aramide Tinubu called the show an “exploitative display of his cognitive decline and emotional well-being”. The series achieved strong ratings, with 1.2 million viewers over the initial broadcast as well as the following three days.

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