Comedian Michelle Wolf’s controversial routine at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) dinner was “not in the spirit” of the group’s mission, the organization’s president said Sunday.
“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 sponsorship winners, not to divide people,” wrote Margaret Talev in a statement. “Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.”
Michelle Wolf, a former contributor and writer for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, made headlines following her performance at the annual dinner held April 28 in Washington, D.C.
During her routine, Wolf made several pointed comments aimed at White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, including a comparison to Aunt Lydia, the terrifying indoctrinator in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, now a popular show on streaming service Hulu.
Wolf’s controversial remarks received a wide array of criticism and praise on social media. Several fellow comedians, including Judd Apatow, Anthony Bourdain and Kathy Griffin, praised Wolf’s bravery, while other notable public figures, including former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, were less than complimentary.
Before releasing her statement, Talev told Politico that Wolf’s jokes did not reflect the views of the press corps. “The association by tradition does not preview or censor the entertainer’s remarks,” she said. “Some of them made me uncomfortable and did not embody the spirit of the night.”
For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump did not attend the event.