At the 2018 White House Correspondents’ dinner, comedian Michelle Wolf delivered a number of racy jokes. Her main target seemed to be Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
In a new Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, Michelle Wolf isn’t backing down from the controversial comments she made at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Speaking to Gross for an interview airing Tuesday, Wolf referenced the backlash brewing against her routine’s jabs at Trump administration officials, most notably Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was in attendance.
“I mean, I’m honestly – I wouldn’t change a single word that I said,” Wolf told Gross. “I’m very happy with what I said, and I’m glad I stuck to my guns.”
Much of the criticism Wolf faced about her routine concerned the so-called sexist remarks she made about Sanders’ appearance, which Wolf disputed.
“I think they didn’t pay attention to what was said,” she said. “I mean, if there is two people that I actually made fun of their looks on Saturday it was Mitch McConnell and Chris Christie and no one is jumping to their defense. I made fun of Mitch McConnell’s neck and I did a small jab at Chris Christie’s weight and no one is jumping to their defense.”
In fact, as she explained to Gross, she’s in a unique position to criticize the female members of the Trump administration, since she’s also a woman.
“I think one of the things about being a comic is getting to actually, as a woman, I have access to hit women in a way that men might not be able to hit them with jokes,” she said. “I don’t mean physically hit. But you know, because I’m a woman, I can say things about women because I know what it’s like to be a woman, if that makes any sense.”
In a Twitter statement Sunday, White House Correspondents’ Association president Margaret Talev joined the voices condemning Wolf’s routine.
“Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of the mission.”
Wolf, who is set to host a new Netflix’s series, The Break, delivered her jokes about Sanders during Saturday’s dinner while the press secretary sat several feet away, with a comment about how she “divided (the press corps) into softball teams” that many interpreted to be a crude stereotype.
“I’m a little starstruck,” Wolf began. “I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale.”
“I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful,” she said. “She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”
Trump officials and members of the White House press corps knocked Wolf’s speech for going too far, with President Trump chiming in with a pair of tweets.
“The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it. The filthy ‘comedian’ totally bombed (couldn’t even deliver her lines – much like the Seth Meyers weak performance). Put dinner to rest, or start over!” Trump wrote.
He later added, “The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is DEAD as we know it. This was a total disaster and an embarrassment to our great Country and all that it stands for. FAKE NEWS is alive and well and beautifully represented on Saturday night!”
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