Known more for dishing celebrity gossip than for giving out guidance, Wendy Williams has entertained audiences on her radio show for the past seven years.
This past May, a 23-year-old male listener asked for advice on how to respond to a male love interest who revealed he was HIV positive before they became intimate. Radio shock jock Williams suggested that it was time for the caller to “bail” because he had his entire life ahead of him.
Sheldon DeSouza, vice chairman of the Black Gay Men Network (BGMN), called into the show and voiced his disapproval of what he felt was ill-informed advice.
DeSouza told POZ: “Everyone should have the right to choose the people that they date. But [Williams suggested that] by being HIV positive you’re no longer worthy of having a relationship.”
After the on-air disagreement, BGMN urged its members and others to contact Williams, the station and her show’s advertisers.
DeSouza hoped to spark discussion on the realities of serodiscordant relationships and create a unity between those in the black gay community who are and aren’t living with the virus.
Meanwhile, Williams announced in July that she’s leaving radio to focus on her television series, The Wendy Williams Show. Her TV show won’t be fielding phone calls. Repeated calls to Williams and her representatives for comment were not returned.
Are you in a serodiscordant relationship and need advice? Don’t ask Williams for it.