Nikki Idelson ’22
Popular talk show host Whoopi Goldberg was recently suspended from the television program The View for making controversial claims. As IMDB explains, The View centers on “five women with very different outlooks on politics” who discuss “current events discuss these and other diverse topics of the day.” Goldberg has been a featured host on The View since 2007, making her the program’s longest-running cast member.
The View has always covered controversial topics and consistently ventured into contentious territory given the featured women’s various backgrounds and perspectives. This time, however, Goldberg went too far. According to USA Today, she made “wrong and hurtful comments on the Holocaust during the Jan. 31 episode of the show.” This episode centered around the graphic novel Maus, which, as USA Today explains, “tells the story of [author Art Spiegelman’s] Jewish parents living in 1940s Poland and follows them through their internment in Auschwitz.” Maus had been in the news after school districts in the South elected to ban it from their curriculum.
While discussing the graphic novel, Goldberg made troubling comments that the other women of The View disagreed with. According to USA Today, she “claimed the Holocaust, which involves the murder of 6 million Jews and other victims, was not about race.” Goldberg then went on to say, “it’s about man’s inhumanity to man. That’s what it’s about.”
Goldberg has faced much backlash from these comments from both the other hosts of The View and fans of the show. For one, co-host and comedian Joy Behar responded to her remarks on-air by pointing out, “well, [the Nazis] considered Jews a different race.” Immediately after this episode of The View aired, ABC News president Kim Godwin Goldberg suspended Goldberg from the show. Godwin also released a statement wholly condemning Goldberg’s comment.
Goldberg has additionally received significant backlash from Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. When commenting on the incident, Greenblatt declared that “the Nazis dehumanized [the Jews] and used this racist propaganda to justify slaughtering 6 million [of them].”
In the wake of her suspension, Goldberg released a statement apologizing for her hurtful comments and acknowledging how she could have worded the point she was trying to express in a more clear and respectful manner. She remarked, “I said the Holocaust ‘is not about race, but about man’s inhumanity to man.’ I should have said it is about both.”
When her suspension was over on Feb. 1, Goldberg took her apology to The View itself, telling viewers that she is “grateful” for being corrected, sharing, “the information I got was really helpful and helped me understand some different things.”
Many fans of The View have accepted Goldberg’s apology, as they believe that she will use this experience to learn and grow for the future. However, other fans remain unhappy with the talk show personality due to how insensitive and incorrect her comments were. Only time will tell whether Golberg has learned from her mistakes.