The Real Wendy?
BY Brandon Voss
August 14 2009 12:00 AM ET
Aviance claims that, once seated, another staffer approached them to rearrange the seating so that Aviance was moved away from the aisle and against the perimeter of the seating area. In the row ahead, a short woman and a tall man were then asked to switch seats so that the tall man blocked Aviance.
When Advocate.com attempted to "ask Wendy" about the incident, Debmar-Mercury, syndicators of The Wendy Williams Show, released the following statement: "Producers at The Wendy Williams Show never intended to offend Erickatoure Aviance, but the fact of the matter is that the show does request that audience members dress appropriately, not in costume-like attire. We certainly support the LGBTQ community and believe that personal style is a form of self-expression, as evidenced by our host Wendy Williams each and every day. But in this case, our staff was concerned that Erickatoure's attire was over-the-top and would be distracting to fans at home."
Williams — whose co-executive producer on the show, Emmy winner Rob Dauber, is gay — specifically praised the drag community in a recent interview with Advocate.com.
"You know, as a drag queen you expect to go out in the street and hear shit — you can prepare yourself for that type of ignorance and discrimination," says Aviance. "But what's most upsetting to me about the situation is that The Wendy Williams Show was the last place on earth I ever expected something like this to happen."