Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended from co-hosting The View after making comments on air about the Holocaust. According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC News president Kim Godwin revealed the decision to staff in a memo sent on Tuesday (Feb. 1).
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” Godwin wrote in the statement. “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.
Goldberg’s initial comments were made on The View’s Monday episode (Jan. 31). On air, the actress sparked controversy when she offered her opinion on the news that a school board banned the graphic novel Maus written by Art Spiegelman.
“Let’s be truthful about it because Holocaust isn’t about race. It’s not about race. It’s not about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man,” she exclaimed.
Co-host Ana Navarro responded to the statement, saying, “But it’s about white supremacists going after Jews.“
“But these are two white groups of people!” Goldberg replied. “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.”
Later Monday evening, the Color Purple star visited The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and made an attempt to clarify her comments and offer an apology.
“I don’t want to fake apologize,” she said. “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. I thought we were having a discussion about race, which everyone is having.”
She continued to explain, “When you talk about being a racist, you can’t call this 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.”
The episode was taped before she issued an official apology on Twitter according to THR.
“On today’s show, I said the Holocaust ‘is not about race, but about man’s inhumanity to man.’ I should have said it is about both,” she wrote. “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.”
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) February 1, 2022
On Tuesday’s episode of The View, Goldberg again apologized for her remarks.
“I said something that I feel a responsibility for not leaving unexamined because my words upset so many people, which was never my intention,” she expressed. “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.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League joined the women for a discussion on Goldberg’s remark and to explain how race factored into the Holocaust.
“Whoopi, there is no question that the Holocaust was about race. That is how the Nazis saw it as they sought the systematic annihilation of the Jewish people—across continents, across countries, with deliberate and ruthless cruelty.”