Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended for two weeks from her spot on The View after making a series of wildly anti-Semitic comments downplaying the Holocaust and saying race wasn’t a factor in Hitler’s genocide against 6 million Jews.
“Just last week I noted that the culture at ABC News is one that is driven, kind, inclusive, respectful, and transparent,” ABC News president Kim Godwin wrote in a letter to the show’s staff. “Whoopi’s comments do not align with those values.”
Godwin acknowledged Goldberg’s comments were “misinformed, upsetting and hurtful.”
“Whoopi has shown through her actions over many years that she understands the horrors of the Holocaust and she started today’s show with the recognition,” she went on. “But words matter and we must be cognizant of the impact our words have.”
Goldberg stirred up outrage Monday during a discussion about a group of parents in Tennessee who had complained about the book “Maus,” a novel about the Holocaust, being taught to sixth graders because it contained profane language and an illustration of a naked woman. The conversation quickly diverged into Goldberg launching into a tirade about how the Holocaust wasn’t about race at all, and was simply two groups of white people – the Germans and the Jews – fighting each other.
“Well also, if we're going to do this, then let's be truthful about it because the Holocaust isn't about race,” she rambled.
“It's about man's inhumanity to man. That's what it's about,” Goldberg went on. “These are two white groups of people.”
“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,” she added.
Following immediate backlash over the comments, Goldberg quickly tried to apologize – before doubling down on her comments, blaming others for misunderstanding them.
“I don’t want to fake apologize,” she said. “I am very upset that people misunderstood what I was saying.”
“When you talk about being a racist, you can’t call [the Holocaust] racism. This was evil. This wasn’t based on skin. You couldn’t tell who was Jewish. You had to delve deeply and figure it out….My point is: they had to do the work,” she said.
“When the Klan is coming down the street and I’m standing with a Jewish friend - I’m going to run. But if my friend decides not to run, they’ll get passed by most times, because you can’t tell most times…that’s what I was trying to explain,” Goldberg continued.
“I understand not everybody sees it that way and I did a lot of harm to myself and people decided I was all these other things that I’m not. I get it, folks are angry, I accept that, and I did it to myself, and I’ll work hard to not think that way again,” she concluded.