An emotional teaser for an upcoming Lifetime documentary entitled Where Is Wendy Williams?, set to premiere this weekend, has been making the rounds on social media. The clip, like Wendy herself, is prompting some polarizing reactions to flow in from fans who sympathize with her current state of mind and health, and those who find themselves at odds with how she made her living, which, really, was by being messy and meddling in the lives of celebrities.


In addition to the clip, Wendy’s family also sat down with PEOPLE and got candid in a cover story about Wendy’s ongoing health issues, which include Graves disease, dementia and aphasia. Both the clip and the documentary lift the veil on the years-long struggles Wendy had throughout her 22 year marriage to Kevin Hunter, whose serial affairs led to another woman having his baby during his marriage to Wendy. Despite differences in opinion on the overall reaction to the clip, it appears one thing many people are united in is Kevin’s role in her rapidly deteriorating condition and depletion of wealth, a lot of which went to alimony payments until her show was taken off air. 


The crew behind the documentary also spoke to PEOPLE, saying that initially, when they started filming in August 2022, this was a project to chronicle Wendy’s comeback after falling ill and stepping away from the show before it was ultimately cancelled, but they say it quickly became something different.

"She was already battling so much physically, and then it became clear that there were mental and addiction issues she was also battling," executive producer Mark Ford said. "But all through it, she was adamant that she wanted to tell this story. We asked ourselves almost every day, ‘Is this helping Wendy or is this hurting her?’ And in the end we felt like it was helping her."

Despite making a few enemies in her decades-long career as a radio host and show host, she certainly made a few friends, and tons of fans. One of those friends, which PEOPLE rightly calls “unlikely”, is Blac Chyna. And she’s featured in the emotional teaser that’s been circulating.


In it, she pays Wendy, who is currently in a care facility, a visit. The two share a candid conversation and Blac Chyna professes her love for her, tells her she’ll visit her more often, and touts Wendy for always having her back when she was “at her darkest”, likely alluding to the time she went through a media frenzy with the Kardashians. 

“You’ve always been honest with me, and like, put me in my place, in the most motherly kind of way,” she said.

This scene, but especially this line, carries a lot of weight, because Blac Chyna has had a notoriously fraught relationship with her own mother, Tokyo Toni, for years. It shows the duplicity between Wendy Williams, the gossip queen, and Wendy Williams, the motherly media maven who urged people to do better and held them accountable. That clip, that conversation, and allowing her to be seen through Blac Chyna’s eyes was humanizing. 


But nothing humanized Wendy in this clip more than the presence of her without her wig and full glam. It was interesting that in their coverage of the clip, Page Six suggested Wendy was “showing off” her natural hair during her reunion with Blac Chyna. As I’ve written before, hair is incredibly symbolic for Black women, and someone like Wendy always had luxurious wigs, so most would say that this is not her flaunting. So unless there’s a specific part of the clip that hasn’t made the rounds yet where Wendy specifically removes her wig boastfully, it’s a misleading way to characterize the moment, because more than anything, it appears she’s coming to terms with the circumstances of her life rather than showing off about anything.

The absence of her wig and full-face makeup symbolizes a state of vulnerability that we have rarely seen with Wendy, who, in the clip, informs Blac Chyna that her real name is Wendy Hunter. She then goes on to say “he has no money”, perhaps alluding to Kevin, and that she’s “being forced”. The meaning of those statements are entirely up for interpretation but online, the understanding seems to be that she is at least slightly cognizant of her circumstances, and perhaps suggests that some of the blame belongs to her ex-husband – a sentiment many people online agree with, and a sentiment Wendy has expressed before.


Back in 2021, she appeared on The Jess Cagle Show, and spoke candidly about her marriage to Kevin, where she admitted that she knew he was unfaithful for years.

"We were married for almost 22 years. We were together for 25 years. I don't regret the day of meeting him. I don't regret putting up with him for all 25 years,” she said. "And that has nothing to do with him having this baby, or him having this side girl for almost 15 years of our marriage. I've known about her almost since the beginning. I've known that Kevin is a serial cheat."

Wendy added that as the couple grew more successful, he began purchasing property that he would use to host his extra-marital affairs.

"This girl wasn't the only one. She just happens to be the one who kept his baby," she said.

What stands out about that particular appearance on The Jess Cagle Showand the entire press tour she was doing at the time leading up to the 2021 biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie, was how candidly she spoke about so much of the trauma she endured, as if it hadn’t impacted her at all.

"This is my story — it's my factual story," she said on a Good Morning America appearance, adding that it “wasn’t tough at all” to revisit parts of her life through the movie. 


This kind of resilience that she so fervently tried to display is dangerous, and I wrote about the danger of resilience, particularly for Black women, here. Because anyone can take a look at the headlines Wendy has been the subject of in recent years and piece together someone who has endured a lot. The affairs, the health issues, the substance abuse, being sued by an unfaithful, scummy ex-husband, placed into a conservatorship, barred two-way access from family members, not being able to access millions of dollars in your own bank accounts. And that’s outside of the sexual abuse she endured earlier in her life. 

I think what this documentary will do is show people not just who Wendy truly is, and who she was at different points in her life, but highlight how she managed and how she coped with everything she was dealing with in the background. Her escape was gossip. Her escape was laughter, it was doing what she knew she was good at, and that’s why she was able to cut through so much of the hate that she got. Because it was doing something for her that nothing and no one else was. It was her hot takes, her exclusive scoops, and to Blac Chyna’s point, her ability to give advice in a motherly way, even when it felt like hate or tough love to celebrities in non-ideal situations or audience members that had questions alike.

Last night, it was announced that Wendy’s guardian filed a lawsuit against Lifetime’s parent network, A&E, ahead of the documentary going to air. And apparently, Kevin is outraged at her decision to do this documentary, and also his son’s decision to be involved. But the upset about it tells me that both Wendy and Lifetime are doing something right. And the fact that she was so steadfast and adamant in her desire to have this story told, especially in such a vulnerable way, gives me the slightest piece of hope that deep down somewhere under that conservatorship is a sliver of autonomy that she refuses to let go of. For the sake of her wanting this story told, and particularly because her guardian and Kevin don’t, I hope we’re all listening.