Whoopi Goldberg will not be on The View for two weeks starting Wednesday, February 2. The suspension follows her controversial remarks about the Holocaust and race on the Monday, January 31 episode.
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” Kim Godwin, president at ABC News, said in a statement released late in the evening on Tuesday, February 1. “While Whoopi has apologized, I’ve asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments. The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, family and communities.”
The View segment in question discussed schools that recently banned books, including one that took issue with Maus, a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman about the Holocaust.
“Let’s be truthful about it because [the] Holocaust isn’t about race,” Goldberg, 66, said on Monday’s episode. “It’s not about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man.”
Cohost Joy Behar said that Nazis considered Jewish a race while Ana Navarro noted the Holocaust was about white supremacy. Goldberg, who has said she identifies as Jewish in the past, still defended her stance.
“But these are two white groups of people!” the EGOT winner continued. “The minute you turn it into race it goes down this alley. Let’s talk about it for what it is. It’s how people treat each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re Black or white, Jews, it’s each other.”
The comments drew criticism from Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League and the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
The Sister Act star avoided apologizing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Monday night. She explained that, as a Black woman, she thought of racism as being based on skin color but realized that isn’t everyone’s experience.
“It upset a lot of people, which was never ever, ever my intention,” Goldberg said to host Stephen Colbert. “I thought it was a salient discussion because as a Black person, I think of race as being something that I can see. So I see you and know what race you are. I thought it [the Holocaust] was more about man’s inhumanity to man. … People said, ‘No, no, we are a race.’ I felt differently. I respect everything everyone is saying to me.”
The New York native added, “I don’t want to fake apologize. I am very upset that people misunderstood what I was saying. And because of it they are saying I am anti-Semitic and denying the Holocaust and all these other things that would never occur to me to do.”
However, after she filmed her appearance, she issued a formal apology via Twitter on Monday night. “I should have said it is about both. As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared, ‘The Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people — who they deemed to be an inferior race.’ I stand corrected.”
She continued, “The Jewish people around the world have always had my support and that will never waiver. I’m sorry for the hurt that I have caused.”
On the Tuesday, February 1, episode of The View, Goldberg once again acknowledged her comments.
“I said something that I feel a responsibility for not leaving unexamined because my words upset so many people, which was never my intention,” the cohost said. “And I understand why now, and for that I am deeply, deeply grateful because the information I got was really helpful and helped me understand some different things.”
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She continued, “It is indeed about race because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be an inferior race. Now, words matter, and mine are no exception. I regret my comments, as I said, and I stand corrected. I also stand with the Jewish people, as they know and y’all know because I’ve always done that.”
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