Whoopi Goldberg suspended from 'The View' over Holocaust remarks

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Feb 02, 2022, 11:15 AM IST
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Whoopi Goldberg has apologised for her remarks on the Jewish community. Photograph:(Twitter)

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In a recent episode of 'The View', Whoopi Goldberg had said that race was not a factor in the Holocaust. 

A day after Hollywood star Whoopi Goldberg issued a written apology over her remarks on Holocaust in her show 'The View', the actress has been suspended from the show for two weeks. 

Goldberg serves as a co-host on the show which airs on ABC news. 

The head of ABC news called out her "wrong and hurtful comments" about Jews and the Holocaust.

Whoopi Goldberg apologises after facing criticism over holocaust remarks

"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," ABC News President Kim Godwin said in a statement.

In a recent episode of 'The View' Goldberg had said that race was not a factor in the Holocaust. 

Later, after facing severe backlash over her comments,  Goldberg apologized on social media and again on Tuesday's morning episode, but the original remark drew condemnation from several prominent Jewish leaders.

"My words upset so many people, which was never my intention," she said Tuesday morning. "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." 

Goldberg made her original comments during a discussion on the show Monday about a Tennessee school board's banning of 'Maus,' a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Nazi death camps during World War II. She said the Holocaust was 'not about race ... It's about man's inhumanity to other men.' "I misspoke," Goldberg said at the opening of Tuesday's show.

The flare-up over Goldberg's remarks this week highlighted the enduring complexity of some race-related issues, including the widespread but strongly contested notion that only people of color can be victims of racism.

"Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments," Godwin said in her statement.

'The View' brought on Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League and author of 'It Could Happen Here,' on Tuesday to discuss why her words had been hurtful.

"Jewish people at the moment are feeling besieged," Greenblatt said.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, praised Goldberg for being outspoken over the years on social issues but said he struggled to understand her statement on the Holocaust.

"The only explanation that I have for it is that there is a new definition of racism that has been put out there in the public recently that defines racism exclusively as the targeting of people of colour. And obviously, history teaches us otherwise," Cooper said.

"Everything about Nazi Germany and about the targeting of the Jews and about the Holocaust was about race and racism. That's the unfortunate, unassailable historic fact," he said.

Kenneth L. Marcus, chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, linked Goldberg's remarks to broader misconceptions of the Holocaust, Jewish identity and antisemitism.

On 'The View' Monday, Goldberg, who is Black, had expressed surprise that some Tennessee school board members were uncomfortable about nudity in 'Maus.'

"I mean, it's about the Holocaust, the killing of 6 million people, but that didn't bother you?" she said. "If you're going to do this, then let's be truthful about it. Because the Holocaust isn't about race. No, it's not about race."
She continued on that line despite pushback from some of her fellow panellists.

The US Holocaust Museum in Washington responded to Goldberg with a tweet.

"Racism was central to Nazi ideology. Jews were not defined by religion, but by race. Nazi racist beliefs fueled genocide and mass murder," it said.

That tweet also included a link to the museum's online encyclopedia, which said the Nazis attributed negative stereotypes about Jews to a biologically determined racial heritage.

(With inputs from agencies)