On Tuesday night, ABC News suspended Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks after The View co-host attracted criticism for asserting the Holocaust was “not about race.”
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” ABC News president Kim Godwin said in a statement.
— ABC News PR (@ABCNewsPR) February 2, 2022
“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,” Godwin continued.
Later that day, Stephen Colbert confronted her during a taping of The Late Show.
“It upset a lot of people which was never, ever, ever, ever my intention. … I thought we were having a discussion,” she told Colbert. “I think of race as being something that I can see. … You couldn’t tell who was Jewish. They had to delve deeply to figure it out. My point is, they had to do the work.”
She added: “I don’t want to fake apologize. … I’m very upset that people misunderstood what I was saying.”
On Monday evening before her episode with Colbert aired, Goldberg posted an apology on Twitter.
The following day, Goldberg offered another apology on The View.
“Yesterday on our show, I misspoke. I tweeted about it last night, but I want you to hear it from me directly,” she said. “I said something that I feel a responsibility for not leaving unexamined because my words upset so many people, which was never my intention. I understand why now, and for that, I am deeply, deeply grateful because the information I got was really helpful, and it helped me understand some different things.”
“I said the Holocaust wasn’t about race and was instead about man’s inhumanity to man,” Goldberg continued. “But it is indeed about race because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be an inferior race.”
“Now, words matter, and mine are no exception. I regret my comments, as I said, and I stand corrected. I also stand with the Jewish people as they know, and y’all know, because I’ve always done that.”
Goldberg’s comments upset staff members at ABC. According to employees, some staff accepted her apology while others believed immediate disciplinary action was merited.
This incident is not the first time in her fifteen years as the host of The View that Goldberg has made comments that have caused backlash.
In 2009, Goldberg suggested that Roman Polanski was not guilty of “rape-rape,” a comment which she later had to explain. Goldberg also initially defended Bill Cosby when he faced sexual assault accusations, but later changed her position.