by Lily Dolin
Media personality, talk show host, and radio DJ, Wendy Williams is no stranger to the entertainment industry. She has worked hard to get where she is today, and is not afraid to let people know. Loud, brash, and often insulting, Williams has no qualms about speaking her mind, often at the expense of others. Her recent talk at NYU focused on her rise to semi-stardom and was riddled with the same tough love and advice that her fans expect from her.
Williams began her talk by detailing her childhood in New Jersey, and how she grew up wanting to be a newscaster. She took the audience on a trip through her childhood up to her college years, telling short stories about her life. Up until this point in the talk, Williams had been relatively polite and uncontroversial. However, when discussing her college major, she had this to say, “I think that communications is probably one of the stupidest majors ever… you can learn how to speak well by watching TV or going online. You can learn how to not end a sentence in a preposition by picking up a book.” As a proud communications major, I wasn’t entirely amused by this comment. William’s did offer sound advice about the importance of studying business in college, but her good advice was overshadowed by her insults.
The talk then shifted to Williams’ after college years, during which she interned at radio stations like KISS 108, a local Boston station. She recounted how she took initiative and found internships for herself outside the ones offered by the school. William’s reminisced about her own ingenuity when it came to jobs and, while she did come off as smug and self-satisfied, offered valuable advice to the audience about forging one’s own path and creating opportunities for oneself. As for having friends and a career, Williams’ gave the audience some tough advice, “Don’t mistake your friends’ smiles and kindness for anything but competition when it comes to your career.” Williams also offered the audience advice on topics such as the importance of internships, and the necessity of enjoying the profession one chooses. All of her advice was good, however, Williams delivered it with an air of importance and self-involvement that made it hard to take her seriously.
The question and answer portion of the talk allowed the audience to ask Williams personal questions, many of which she was unable to answer. Acting majors, media majors, and other students all asked Williams questions that she either could not, or did not answer. Instead, they were given a response that did not really address their concerns, but rather forced them to smile and nod awkwardly as they pretended to be satisfied with her answer.
Williams’ path to fame and stardom is long and impressive. She came to NYU to share her story and to impart wisdom to current students. While her stories and advice are worth listening to, her rude and abrasive delivery often made it hard to do so.
Lily Dolin is a Staff Writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org