• Sun. Apr 14th, 2024


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Producers of Wendy Williams Documentary Unaware of Dementia

Producers of Wendy Williams Documentary Unaware of Dementia

If you watched Lifetime’s Wendy Williams docuseries that premiered over the weekend and felt uncomfortable, you were not alone.

“The place is Wendy Williams?” premiered over the weekend and featured quite a few scenes of the previous discuss present host unsteady, belligerent, confused and likewise drunk. Her supervisor would frequently discover liquor bottles hidden all through her condominium, conduct that producers say unnerved them whereas filming. However they are saying they did not know on the time that Williams had dementia, which the general public discovered late final week.

“All of us grew to become very involved for her security. To be sincere, I used to be so involved she would fall down the steps and for quite a few totally different causes,” stated Erica Hanson, an government producer who will be seen and heard chatting with Williams at sure moments within the collection.

Hanson stated quickly after she and the filmmakers have been advised Williams had dementia by her son, they turned the cameras off.

“We determined to cease filming as a crew. We saved hoping that she was going to get higher but it surely grew to become obvious to us that she was not and that she actually wanted assist,” Hanson stated.

“The place is Wendy Williams?” debuted Saturday, two days after her care crew launched an announcement saying she has been recognized with main progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, the identical illness Bruce Willis has. Its two episodes aired after attorneys for Lifetime efficiently fended off an effort by Williams’ guardian to cease the broadcasts.

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In a assessment, Selection known as the collection “an exploitive show of her cognitive decline and emotional well-being.” Danie Buchanan, a radio DJ in Atlanta posted a video response on Instagram saying, “I could not end it … It was so laborious to look at, it was so laborious to see her like that,” she stated.

All through the documentary, Williams seems unsteady on her ft and he or she has bother strolling with out help. Her feelings fluctuate between candy to all of a sudden irritable to belligerent to weepy or annoyed. Many occasions the previous discuss present host admits to consuming. “I like vodka,” Williams, 59, says within the first episode.

She has been public about her cocaine dependancy and lived in a “sober home” in 2019. Every time somebody brings up her consuming on digital camera, Williams ends the dialog.

In April 2023, the movie crew adopted Williams to Miami to go to her son Kevin, Jr. and different household. In the course of the journey, Williams’ son advised the filmmakers that his mom suffers from a type of dementia attributable to alcohol.

“We didn’t discover out the prognosis till Kevin Jr. shared that with us,” stated Brie Bryant, Lifetime’s senior vice chairman of non-scripted programming.

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After getting back from Miami, the crew arrived at Williams’ condominium to search out her sobbing in her mattress, seemingly inebriated. This was the tipping level — Hanson was filmed talking with Williams’ supervisor, Will Selby, about her situation, earlier than they stopped filming Williams altogether. Shortly after she was positioned in a remedy facility by her guardianship.

“We questioned on a regular basis, ‘Ought to we be right here? Ought to we not? How can we inform this story sensitively?’ It touched all of us deeply. It actually did,” Hanson stated.

The undertaking was meant to be a follow-up to Lifetime’s 2021 “Wendy Williams: What a Mess!” documentary and biopic “Wendy Williams: The Film.” Bryant stated each the community and Williams loved their partnership and agreed to movie Williams’ subsequent chapter.

The target, stated Hanson, was to doc a lady making adjustments in her life, dealing with obstacles, and popping out the opposite facet. Williams’ self-titled daytime discuss present led to 2022 due to ongoing well being points with Graves’ illness that saved her from filming. Sherri Shepherd, a visitor host for Williams, was given her personal present.

“We thought we have been going to movie a lady at an actual turning level in her life, embarking on a brand new profession with Wendy doing a podcast … recovering from a really troublesome divorce,” stated Hanson. “As soon as we began filming, it actually went into a really totally different route.”

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Producers say in the end what was filmed and aired is sincere and unfiltered, like Williams herself.

“It’s a painful fact, and it’s a really unhappy fact,” added government producer Mark Ford, “however Wendy is likely one of the most radically sincere storytellers within the historical past of media. Why would this documentary not echo that unimaginable legacy of of openness?”

Bryant says there may be “no dialog” about filming extra with Williams sooner or later. “The one factor that we care about at Lifetime is that she had a platform to inform her story, and that we really feel we did so responsibly, and that she will get properly and hopefully will get to be along with her household.”

The filmmakers say they hope the collection makes individuals take a more in-depth have a look at guardianships. As a result of Williams’ funds and medical care are managed by a 3rd get together, her household says they’re unable to see her and have a say in her remedy.

“We hope that individuals can see why we aired it, and produced it, and that the intention is to shine a lightweight on the difficulties and the secrecies in these guardianships,” Ford stated.

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