Publicist for Wendy Williams Criticizes New Documentary: “I Felt That She Was Being Exploited”

Shawn Zanotti, who has been Wendy Williams’ publicist since 2021, recently spoke out about her disappointment with the portrayal of her client in the “Where Is Wendy” documentary. In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Zanotti expressed her concern that Williams was being exploited and misrepresented in the film. Zanotti emphasized that Williams had not agreed to the final version of the documentary that was aired, as it deviated significantly from the original concept that was presented to her and Williams.

Zanotti expressed that Williams was initially excited about the prospect of sharing her story through a documentary. However, the end result did not effectively capture the true essence of what was intended. Instead, it focused on sensationalized moments that portrayed Williams in a negative manner. In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Zanotti expressed disappointment in the absence of positive moments and the lack of respect shown towards Williams’ privacy and dignity.

The timing of the documentary’s release has also sparked concern, as just one day before it aired, Williams’ management team announced that she was undergoing treatment for primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia. Zanotti clarified that Williams had not been consulted about the decision to publicly disclose her medical condition, further highlighting the lack of communication and transparency surrounding the project. “I felt that Williams was being taken advantage of,” expressed Zanotti. “She believed we were focusing on her career comeback… She would be deeply embarrassed. There’s no way you can convince me that she would be comfortable with seeing herself portrayed in that manner.”

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Where Did Things Go Wrong?

Zanotti was initially approached about the project by Creature Films and eOne Television in 2022. According to Zanotti, when she mentioned the idea of a documentary to Wendy, she eagerly expressed her interest in sharing her story. However, Zanotti later discovered that what was ultimately aired did not align with her agreement.

According to Zanotti, the project that Williams signed up for was not the same as the one that the producers brought to her. Zanotti expressed her disappointment, stating that the show was not what she had promised Williams it would be. She also mentioned that there were many positive moments during the filming process, but unfortunately, none of them were shown on the final product.

During production, Zanotti expressed her concerns to Sabrina Morrissey, Williams’ current guardian.

In expressing her disagreement with the documentary, she stated, “I made it clear to the guardian that I did not agree with what was going on. The production company was aware of my stance. I was not in favor of the direction in which things were moving, and instead of addressing the issue with me, they chose to disregard my concerns. From that moment on, they completely ignored me, and I never heard from them again,” as reported by NBC.

More On Wendy Williams

Just one day after the emotional airing of the lifetime documentary, a devastating announcement has been made public: Wendy Williams has received a diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.

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In an interview with TODAY.com, the filmmakers justified their decision to release the documentary, stating that they were unaware of Williams’ diagnosis while filming. They proceeded with the project because, as showrunner Erica Hanson explained, “We recognized the intricate and delicate nature of this story, and we felt a profound obligation to approach it with dignity and sensitivity.”

In response, Zanotti believes that the diagnosis wouldn’t have hindered them in any way. The producers continuously posed questions, deliberately aiming to capture moments where she appeared somewhat confused. From Zanotti’s perspective, it seemed as though they were intentionally crafting a storyline rather than presenting a documentary. To her, it felt like watching a reality show, a spectacle leading to her downfall.

Despite the challenges and controversies surrounding the documentary, Zanotti is dedicated to supporting Williams and safeguarding her best interests. As Williams progresses on her path to recovery and healing, Zanotti serves as a unwavering advocate for her client, resolute in upholding her dignity and integrity despite the adversities they may encounter.

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