Whoopi Goldberg taken off air by ABC after claiming Holocaust was ‘not about race’
Despite issuing three public apologies, Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended from The View 48 hours after saying that the Holocaust was “not about race”.
In a note to staff on Tuesday night, ABC News president Kim Godwin wrote: “Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments.
“While Whoopi has apologised, I’ve asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments.
“The entire ABC News organisation stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, family and communities.
“These decisions are never easy, but necessary,” she added in the memo, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
“Just last week I noted that the culture at ABC News is one that is driven, kind, inclusive, respectful, and transparent. Whoopi’s comments do not align with those values,” it concluded.
The 66--year-old Oscar-winning actress made her original offending remarks while taking part in a discussion on Monday’s edition of the show about a US school board’s decision to ban Maus, a Pulitzer prize-winning graphic novel about the experiences of a Holocaust survivor.
“Let’s be truthful – the Holocaust isn’t about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man – that’s what it’s about,” Goldberg put forward.
When one of her co-hosts said the Holocaust was “about white supremacy”, Goldberg replied: “But these are two white groups of people.
“You’re missing the point. The minute you turn it into race, it goes down this alley. Let’s talk about it for what it is – it’s how people treat each other. It’s a problem.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, because black, white, Jews... everybody eats each other.”
Her comments prompted an outcry, with criticism from Jewish individuals and organisations, who called her words “dangerous”.
Despite issuing an initial apology on social media after the show aired, she caused further upset during a late night talk show appearance that evening when she attempted to justify her thinking.
Appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, she said that she thought the killing of six million Jews by the Nazis was not about race because Jews are white.
“When you talk about being a racist, you can’t call this racism,” she said. “This was evil. This wasn’t based on skin. You couldn’t tell who was Jewish. You had to delve deeply and figure it out. My point is: they had to do the work.
“If the Klan is coming down the street and I’m standing with a Jewish friend, 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 is Jewish. You don’t know.”
Though she did apologise again for upsetting people.
Her third apology came on Tuesday’s episode of The View, when she said: “Yesterday on the show I misspoke,” she said to open the talk show.
“[The Holocaust] is indeed about race, because Hitler and the Nazis considered the Jews to be an inferior race.
“Now, words matter, and mine are no exception. I regret my comments and I stand corrected. I also stand with the Jewish people.”
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