Whoopi Goldberg is apologizing after using an outdated ethnic slur on Wednesday’s episode of The View.
The longtime cohost let it slip during a segment of the show where she and her fellow cohosts were discussing Donald Trump and those who still falsely believe the 2020 election was rigged. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Goldberg commented: “people who still believe that he got, you know, gypped somehow in the election.”
The word “gypped”—which is defined as “one who cheats,” “fraud” and “swindler” according to Merriam-Webster—is tied to the word “gypsy,” which is considered a slur against Romani people. As a result, The Color Purple actress subsequently issued a video apology on Twitter after the show went off the air.
“You know, when you’re a certain age, you use words that you know from when you’re a kid or you remember saying, and that’s what I did today, and I shouldn’t have. I should have thought about it a little longer before I said it, but I didn’t, and I should have said ‘cheated,’ and I used another word, and I’m really, really sorry,” she said.
The video was met with mixed reactions online with some folks arguing that she ought to know better and the apology was disingenuous. Others empathized with Goldberg, even going so far as to admit that they too had either used the word or heard it being used in their younger years without knowing its offensive origin.
“Love Whoopi,” wrote one Twitter user. “I had no idea anyone took offense. She’s educating me and many others bc I had no idea anyone found offense in the term. Thanks, Whoopi for teaching us!”
No matter where you stand regarding the sincerity of her apology, there’s no doubt that this situation should be looked at as a teachable moment for all of us.
However, what should be dissected is the fact that Goldberg has apologized time and time again over the last year alone for her questionable commentary on the show. Whether it’s related to Jewish people or neo-nazi demonstrators, the veteran actress’ words have unfortunately become the center of controversy as of late, much to the chagrin of audiences. I won’t go so far as to say her words are laced with malice, but it does beg the question of why instances like this seemingly happen more frequently with her than her other cohosts.