Michelle Wolf discussed the controversy in the aftermath of her scathing White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech in a new interview where she defended the performance.
“I wasn’t expecting this level [of controversy], but I’m also not disappointed there’s this level,” Wolf told NPR’s Fresh Air in an interview that will air Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t change a single word that I said. I’m very happy with what I said, and I’m glad I stuck to my guns.”
In the hours after the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Wolf drew criticism on social media for her abrasive roasting of the Trump administration and Washington D.C. lawmakers, with Donald Trump calling Wolf a “so-called comedian” in one of three tweets that lashed out at the annual gala.
“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, who once again declined to attend, tweeted. “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!”
“I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to cater to the room. I wanted to cater to the outside audience, and not betray my brand of comedy,” Wolf told NPR. “A friend of mine who helped me write, he gave me a note before I went on which I kept with me which was, ‘Be true to yourself. Never apologize. Burn it to the ground.'”
Wolf’s speech was also condemned for its jokes at the expense of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ physical appearance, although Wolf didn’t actually say anything that mocked how Sanders looks.
“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,” Wolf explained.
Wolf added, “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. 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.”