Comedian Michelle Wolf has been the talk of political and journalistic circles since her uncontroversial yet somehow still controversial performance at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. With criticisms continuing to fly through the news cycle, from her use of vulgar language to her non-existent targeting of Sarah Huckabee-Sanders’s appearance, many within the media and the comedy world have come to her defense, calling out the hypocrisy of pro-Trump politicians, faux-feminist journalists and the WHCA itself.
In an interview Tuesday with NPR’s Fresh Air, Wolf defended her non-discriminate lambasting of the D.C. elite. “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,” said Wolf, adding, “I wasn’t expecting this level [of controversy], but I’m also not disappointed there’s this level.”
While the WHCA likes to promote the annual event as a celebration of the first amendment, their apology for Wolf’s performance undercut any notion of that mission, exposing the dinner as an out-of-date cozy gathering of politicians and those charged with holding them accountable, something Wolf called attention to throughout her set. “I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to cater to the room. I wanted to cater to the outside audience … 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,’” said Wolf.
Wolf also specifically responded to the major point of contention that she unfairly targeted Sanders’s appearance, even though she didn’t. “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,” said Wolf. “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.”
“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,” Wolf added. “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.”
The full interview will air on Tuesday’s edition of Fresh Air.