Did she do it—or was it a..."fish tank"?

By Leah Groth
Updated January 24, 2020
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There's truly no way around it: Everyone farts and it's totally normal—but a recent showing of The Wendy Williams Show has Wendy Williams and her viewers divided over whether or not the host actually passed gas on air. 

Earlier this month, a clip surfaced of Williams, 55, during an episode of her show. In it, it sounded like she let out a fart on live television. Of course, because it's a combination of Wendy Williams and farting, the clip went viral—Williams herself even dubbed the scandal "FartGate."

On Thursday’s episode of The Wendy Williams Show, she finally addressed the heated controversy, denying that the toot-like sound in question was an actual fart. 

“I want to talk to you about something very, very serious. I’ve been going through this for a moment and I would like to have a private conversation with you, okay?” she said to her audience. Then, she played the infamous clip, which depicted her leaving over in her chair while a fart-like sound could be heard. 

“I have never farted once on this show!” Williams continued. “As a matter of fact, I barely fart, you know why? Because gas gets released several different ways and mine is belching, because all I do is talk.”

She continued to defend herself, maintaining she wasn’t even in a fart-like position during the time of question. “Let me tell you something right now, okay? I don’t lean over like this to release a fart, I’m lean over like this because it’s comfortable,” she added. “If I sit [straight up] all the time, it’s heavy on my spine. I don’t have the back. I’m not trying to get the back. I like to release my hips and lean, you know what I’m saying? … I’ve been doing this for 11 years on this show!”

She also maintains that if she had in fact let one slip, she would have “made a big deal” of it, because she isn’t too proud to make fun of herself. “I would have definitely been laughing, because farts are always funny,” she pointed out. “You know a girl like me would have been laughing at that! 

She continued to explain that if that sound was a fart, she wouldn’t have remained in her seat. “By the sound of that fart, I would have had to go change my costume!” Williams said. “I would have left a mark in the seat. I wouldn’t even save the costume, I would have throw it away. It’d probably be soiled beyond soiled-tivity.”

In case you are curious what the sound in question was, stagehand John Anderson finally explained that it was the result of a science segment set up gone awry. “We were filling up a fish tank backstage and we didn’t have the proper hose,” he explained. “The air was just coming out and it was sputtering like someone was farting. Okay? So that’s what it was. It wasn’t Wendy!”

No shade at all to Williams—whether or not she farted is something she only knows for sure—but JSYK: Flatulence (aka, farting) is a daily habit for every person. In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, the average person can fart up to 23 times per day—that's nearly once an hour.

Tanya B. Freirich, MS, RD, New York-based nutritionist and registered dietitian for Sweet Nova, previously told Health that farting is simply your body’s way of getting rid of extra gas. "Farting, also known as flatulence, happens when you have excess gas in the stomach and/or intestines," she explained. “Expelling that gas through your anus creates a fart.”

Excess gas can be the result of many different factors, including malabsorption of food, increased fiber intake or swallowing a lot of air while eating. “A common example of malabsorption of food is lactose intolerance,” she continued. “Without the correct enzymes, the body doesn’t digest dairy sugar (lactose) properly, and produces excess gas as those sugars are fermented in the digestive tract.”

Some people notice that they fart more often while they are having sex or at the gym, which is generally due to all the, well, movement involved in both situations. But regardless of why or how often it happens, one thing is for sure: Farting is totally normal—end of discussion. 

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