Whoopi Goldberg Suspended From ‘The View’ for Two Weeks After Saying Holocaust Was ‘Not About Race’
by Shiryn Ghermezian
Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended from “The View” for two weeks, one day after she drew criticism for asserting on the morning talk show that the Holocaust was “not about race.”
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” ABC News President Kim Godwin said in a statement released Tuesday night. “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.”
It is unclear if Goldberg, who renegotiated a four-year deal with ABC in September 2021, will be paid during her suspension.
In a note to ABC News staff members before the statement was released, Godwin said decisions such as Goldberg’s suspension are “are never easy, but necessary.” She also called Goldberg’s comments about the Holocaust “misinformed, upsetting and hurtful.” She added, “Words matter and we must be cognizant of the impact our words have.”
“Just last week I noted that the culture at ABC News is one that is driven, kind, inclusive, respectful and transparent. Whoopi’s comments do not align with those values,” Godwin said.
In Monday’s episode of “The View,” Goldberg, 66, claimed multiple times that the Holocaust was “not about race” while discussing a Tennessee school district’s decision to remove “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, from its eighth grade curriculum because of the book’s “inappropriate language” and illustrated nudity.
Goldberg argued that the Adolf Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jewish race was instead about “man’s inhumanity to man.” At one point she said, “Let’s talk about it for what it is. It’s how people treat each other. It’s a problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, or white, cause black, white, Jews, Italians, everybody eats each other.”
After facing backlash for her remarks, Goldberg apologized in a statement shared on social media. However, during her guest appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” that aired on Monday night, she again claimed that the Nazis “had issues with ethnicity, not with race.”
“Most of the Nazis were white people and most of the people they were attacking were white people. So to me, I’m thinking, ‘how can you say it’s about race if you are fighting each other?’” she told Colbert. “This wasn’t — I said — this wasn’t racial. This was about white on white.”
On Tuesday morning’s episode of “The View,” Goldberg again apologized for her remarks saying, “I misspoke.”
“[The Holocaust] is indeed about race because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be an inferior race,” she told viewers. “Now, words matter and mine are no except. I regret my comments and I stand corrected. I also stand with the Jewish people as they know, and y’all know, because I’ve always done that.”
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt appeared on Tuesday’s show and told Goldberg on air that “there’s no question that the Holocaust was about race. Literally, the first page of ‘Maus,’ the book you were talking about yesterday, Whoopi, opens with a quote from Hitler, and literally it says, ‘The Jews undoubtedly are a race, but they are not human.’”
He added, “Hitler’s ideology was predicated on the idea that … the Jews were a subhuman race. It was a radicalized antisemitism.”
Ana Navarroa, a CNN political commentator and regular guest host on “The View” who was on Monday’s show, defended Goldberg by telling The Daily Beast on Tuesday night, “I love Whoopi Goldberg. I love ‘The View.’ This was an incredibly unfortunate incident. Whoopi is a lifelong ally to the Jewish community. She is not an antisemite, period. I am sad. And I have nothing else to say.”
While none of the permanent co-hosts of the “The View” have publicly commented on the matter, Sunny Hostin retweeted a Twitter post that says, “ADL making it clear here that the org is accepting @WhoopiGoldeberg’s apology.”
Greenblatt appeared on CNN‘s “Don Lemon Tonight” on Tuesday and said he hopes Goldberg will use her two-week suspension period “for a process of introspection and learning.”
When Lemon noted that some people believe ABC went too far by suspending Goldberg, Greenblatt said, “We sometimes have people in public places who can say clumsy things about race or faith or gender. I don’t believe in cancel culture. I like the phrase that my friend Nick Cannon uses: ‘We need counsel culture.’ We shouldn’t cancel Whoopi because she made a mistake.”
“I heard Whoopi say that she’s committed to doing better. I accept that apology with the sincerity with which she delivered it,” he added.
However, some employees at ABC, which airs “The View,” feel Goldberg should have been fired, an ABC News source told CNN. The insider said that many ABC News employees felt “if anyone other than Whoopi made that comment, they’d be fired on the spot.” Meanwhile, ABC insiders told the Daily Beast that Goldberg’s co-hosts are “furious with the network’s decision” to suspend the actress.
Former “The View” co-host Meghan McCain wrote in an op-ed for The Daily Mail on Tuesday that the network and “The View” have “double standards” when it comes to some of its hosts.
“I hope this can be used as a teachable moment to explain to millions of Americans why conflating the Holocaust as something that is specific and limited to ‘white people’ is insane, ahistorical and antisemitic,” she wrote. “Instead of half-assed apologies and bringing in experts in the antisemitism space, maybe dedicate an entire ‘Hot Topics’ segment to discussing why what was said was so deeply offensive and dangerous.”