The View cohost Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended following her inaccurate comments about the Holocaust on Monday morning’s episode.
Per Variety, ABC’s decision was announced via an official statement posted online from the company’s PR team and ABC News President Kim Godwin.
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” the statement began. “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.”
As previously reported by The Root, the company’s decision stems from Goldberg’s initial comments about the Holocaust when she asserted that the tragic matter was “not about race” but rather “man’s inhumanity to man.” The longtime daytime talk show host has since apologized for her remarks both online and during Tuesday morning’s episode of The View.
But during her appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, which was taped before her apology was sent out later Monday night, the Sister Act star appeared to double down on her comments in an effort to explain the point she was really trying to make.
“It upset a lot of people, which was never ever, ever, ever my intention,” she explained according to ET Canada. “I thought we were having a discussion… because I feel, being Black, when we talk about race it’s a very different thing to me, so I said that I felt that the Holocaust wasn’t about race. And people got very, very, very angry, and still are angry. I’m getting all of the mail from folks, and very real anger, because people feel very differently. But I thought it was a salient discussion because, as a Black person, I think of race as being something that I can see. So I see you and I know what race you are, and the discussion was about how I felt about that.”
“People were very angry, and they said, ‘No, no, we are a race,’ and I understand. I understand. I felt differently. I respect everything everyone is saying to me, and, you know, I don’t want to fake apologize. I’m very upset that people misunderstood what I was saying, and so because of it they’re saying that I’m anti-Semitic and that I’m denying the Holocaust, and all these other things which would never have occurred to me to do. I thought we were having a discussion about race, which everyone, I think, was having.”
When Colbert interjected to explain how he believed that in America, whiteness was a construct that came about from “colonial powers during the beginning of the colonial imperialist era in order to exploit other people” and that the “idea of race” in the American experience “tends to be based on skin,” Goldberg further explained:
“Yes, and so that’s what race means to me. When you talk about being a racist, I was saying, you can’t call this racism. This was evil. This wasn’t based on the skin. You couldn’t tell who was Jewish. They had to delve deeply to figure out.”
She later added: “If the Klan is coming down the street, and I’m standing with a Jewish friend, and neither one—well, I’m going to run—but if my friend decides not to run, they’ll get passed by most times, because you can’t tell who’s Jewish. It’s not something that people say, ‘Oh, that person is Jewish,’ or, ‘This person is Jewish.’ And so that’s what I was trying to explain, and I understand that not everybody sees it that way, and that I did a lot of harm, I guess, to myself, and people decided I was all these other things. I’m actually not. And I’m incredibly torn up by being told these things about myself. And you know, I get it, folks are angry, I accept that, and I did to myself. This was my thought process, and I will work hard not to think that way again.”