Whoopi Goldberg has denied doubling down on previous controversial comments regarding the Holocaust.
During an interview with The Sunday Times, the actress’ January 2022 statements made on The View — where she claimed the Holocaust “wasn’t originally” about race — were reiterated.
“My best friend said, ‘Not for nothing is there no box on the census for the Jewish race. So that leads me to believe that we’re probably not a race,” Goldberg remarked in the interview.
Reporter Janice Turner then told the daytime host that Nazis “saw Jews as a race,” to which the actor replied, “The oppressor is telling you what you are. Why are you believing them? They’re Nazis. Why believe what they’re saying?”
Goldberg added that Black people were spotted more easily by Nazis than Jews “because you could not tell a Jew on a street” by physical appearance alone.
After facing backlash, the 67-year-old has clarified that her comments were only to add clarity to her previous remarks, not to reaffirm them.
“I tried to convey to the reporter what I had said and why, and attempted to recount that time,” the Sister Act star explained in a statement to the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday (Dec. 27.) “It was never my intention to appear as if I was doubling down on hurtful comments, especially after talking with and hearing people like rabbis and old and new friends weighing in.”
In a statement to Rolling Stone, the acclaimed actress added “I’m still learning a lot and believe me, I heard everything everyone said to me. I believe that the Holocaust was about race, and I am still as sorry now as I was then that I upset, hurt, and angered people.”
“My sincere apologies again, especially to everyone who thought this was a fresh rehash of the subject. I promise it was not. In this time of rising anti-semitism, I want to be very clear when I say that I always stood with the Jewish people and always will. My support for them has not wavered and never will.”
Goldberg’s original comments earned the veteran talent a suspension from her co-host slot by ABC News president Kim Godwin.
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” Godwin wrote in a statement at the time. “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.”
“These decisions are never easy, but necessary,” added Goodwin.