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During a discussion on “The View,” comedian and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg made some comments deemed “wrong and hurtful” by Kim Godwin, president of ABC News. Her remarks were made while the panel talked about a graphic novel about the Nazi death camps being banned by a Tennessee school board.
Because she said the Holocaust was not about race, she was suspended for two weeks, so she could “take time to reflect about the impact of her comments.” Godwin added that the entire media organization stands in solidarity with its Jewish brothers and sisters on Monday.
Goldberg is a Black woman who has seen her share of bigotry and racial profiling. However, her strong sense of humanitarianism was evident in her statement. She was not discounting the Holocaust but asked her “The View” co-hosts why “the killing of six million people” did not bother them.
It was her following words that upset everyone: “the Holocaust isn’t about race. No, it’s not about race,” she declared. Then, after repeating the phrase that sparked her suspension, she explained her intent: the Holocaust was about humankind’s inhumanity against their own.
As “The View” co-hosts attempted to persuade her that the Holocaust was a racist based on the Nazi’s perception that Jewish people were of an inferior race, Goldberg continued to counter their arguments. She told them that the Nazis, Jews, and Roma people were groups of white people. They still did not grasp her perspective.
She was schooled in the error of her comments. When Goldberg apologized later, she said her declaration on ‘The View” was not complete. Instead of only placing the focus solely on the Holocaust’s inhumanity, she should have acknowledged it was primarily about race. “I stand corrected,” the talk show host added. Then, she quoted Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League:
The Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people — who they deemed to be an inferior race.
During an appearance Monday evening on “The Late Show,” Goldberg told Stephen Colbert that she thinks about racism being based on skin color as a Black person. However, she did not realize others do not see it that way. “I get it. Folks are angry. I accept that, and I did it to myself,” she said.
Goldberg apologized once again on Tuesday. She told “The View” co-workers and the show’s audience of her remorse over her remarks. “I feel something that I feel a responsibility…my words upset people, which was never my intention.” She expressed her gratefulness to everyone who gave her helpful information that helped her understand the Holocaust differently.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
ABC News: ABC suspends ‘The View’ host Whoopi Goldberg for saying Holocaust ‘not about race;’ by Tim Stelloh and Gemma DiCasimirro
The New York Times: ABC Suspends Whoopi Goldberg Over Holocaust Comments; by Jenny Gross and Neil Vigdor
The Hollywood Reporter: Whoopi Goldberg Apologizes and Seemingly Doubles Down on Holocaust Comments; by James Hibberd
CNN: Comic book store owners are offering to ship banned Holocaust novel ‘Maus’ to Tennessee students for free; by Sara Smart
Featured and Top Image by Rainforest Action Network Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Ri Butov’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image by ABC/Robert Ascroft Courtesy of ABC|Disney Group – Used With Permission