On Monday -- two days after Harwick apparently fell to her death from her third-story apartment's balcony after being attacked -- Williams cracked a joke about her murder.
Williams' addressed the incident on her show, and reminded fans that Harwick -- a model turned therapist working in Hollywood -- had once been engaged to The Price Is Right host Drew Carey.
"She was killed. Not by Drew," Williams said, after explaining how she'd been "pushed from a third floor balcony."
Williams then paused at the sound of people's gasps and decided to evoke the famous The Price Is Right catchphrase, quipping, "Come on down!" After which, Williams tilted her head up and then looked down to the floor, as if miming watching someone fall.
The joke was met largely by groans and silence from the audience, and Williams quickly moved on to talking more about Harwick -- whom she incorrectly called "Hardwick" -- before talking about the recent death of voice actor Jason Davis, who she incorrectly referred to as "Jason David."
Harwick died on Saturday reportedly from injuries sustained from the fall. Police had been called to the residence by Harwick's roommate, who told authorities she was being assaulted in the apartment, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Gareth Pursehouse, Harwick's 41-year-old former boyfriend, has been arrested by police in connection with her death. He is being held on $2 million bail. Police found evidence of a struggle at Harwick's home, and she had previously taken out a temporary restraining order against Pursehouse, which had recently expired.
In response to her remarks about Harwick's murder, many viewers quickly took to Twitter to slam Williams for her behavior.
So @WendyWilliams hears that Drew Carey’s former fiancée was thrown off a balcony and later died. Her attacker was a man she’d been seeing. #WendyWilliams thought it was funny and made a joke about it. I’d like to call her a soulless harpy, but I was raised better.— Barbara Green (@oneandonlybjg) February 18, 2020
How tf do you make a joke about someone's murder? And how many times is @WendyWilliams going to put herself under fired before she's terminated. It's not the first time she's said something uncalled for. Yeah her shows on gossip but there's a line you DON'T cross #WendyWilliams https://t.co/b2deT6PKUn— Stephanie (@StephP0214) February 18, 2020
Also, #WendyWilliams needs to be taken off the air for her comment about her and Drew. If you can't say anything respectful about people especially on your show then don't say anything at all. So many #Heartless people out in the world these days it is sad.— 🦋Melissa🦋 (@MelissaOctLibra) February 18, 2020
This backlash comes on the heels of Williams' comments last week when she began talking about celebrating Galentine's Day -- an unofficial holiday where women celebrate each other -- and took note of the men in the audience who were clapping.
"If you’re a man and you’re clapping, you’re not even a part of this," Williams said. "You don’t understand the rules of the day. It’s women going out and getting saucy and then going home. You’re not a part."
"I don’t care if you’re gay. You don’t get a [menstruation] every 28 days. You can do a lot that we do, but I get offended by the idea that we go through something you will never go through," she said before she stirred the pot. "And stop wearing our skirts and our heels. Just saying, girls, what do we have for ourselves?... Lookie here now, gay men, you’ll never be the women that we are. No matter how gay."
On Valentine's Day, Williams took to Instagram to apologize.
"I'll start by saying, I apologize. I did not mean to offend my LGBTQ+ community on yesterday's show," she shared, adding, "One thing I can tell you right now is I never do the show in a place of malice… And I didn't mean to hurt anybody's feelings. I'm just having a conversation."
Check out the video below for more on Williams' recent scandal.