The Oscar-winning TV personality said on ABC’s “The View” that the Holocaust involved “two white groups of people.” “On today’s show, I said the Holocaust ‘is not about race, but about man’s inhumanity to man’. I should have said it is about both,” Goldberg wrote on Twitter late on January 31, 2022.
ANGELA WEISS / AFP
US actor Whoopi Goldberg was suspended for two weeks on Tuesday from the talk show she hosts for saying the Nazi genocide of six million Jews “was not about race.”
Despite an apology from the host of “The View” talk show, ABC News President Kim Godwin said she had decided it was not enough.
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” Godwin said in a statement posted on the TV channel’s public relations Twitter account.
“While Whoopi has apologized, I’ve asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments,” Godwin said.
The Oscar-winning TV personality said on ABC’s “The View” that the Holocaust involved “two white groups of people.”
“On today’s show, I said the Holocaust ‘is not about race, but about man’s inhumanity to man’. I should have said it is about both,” Goldberg wrote in a Twitter apology late Monday.
“The Jewish people around the world have always had my support and that will never waiver. I’m sorry for the hurt I have caused,” the 66-year-old added.
After Goldberg’s comments, critics pointed out that race was central to the genocide, with the Nazis believing themselves to be a master race.
“No @WhoopiGoldberg, the #Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people – who they deemed to be an inferior race,” tweeted Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League.
“They dehumanized them and used this racist propaganda to justify slaughtering six million Jews. Holocaust distortion is dangerous,” he added.
The US Holocaust Museum posted on Twitter that “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, without referencing Goldberg’s comments.
The host spoke during a discussion about a Tennessee school banning the 1986 graphic novel “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale,” about life at the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning book, which depicts Jews as mice and Nazis as cats, has long been heralded as a powerful and accurate depiction of the Nazi murder of millions of Jews during World War II.
Godwin herself said in her statement that “the entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, family, and communities.”
Author and Holocaust survivor Lucy Lipiner offered to discuss the issue with Goldberg on her show.
“I might be 88-years-old but I have the energy to come on your show and talk to @WhoopiGoldberg and all the girls about the Holocaust,” Lipner said on Twitter.
“I think we can have a meaningful conversation together and heal wounds.”
Goldberg has taken controversial stances in the past, including a defence of comedian Bill Cosby as he faced sexual abuse allegations leveled by dozens of women. She later retracted her stance following considerable backlash.
She also said director Roman Polanski, who pleaded guilty for having “unlawful sex” with a minor in 1977, had not committed “rape-rape”.
Twitter users also referred to the talk show host’s defense of Ted Danson after the actor showed up in blackface and used racial slurs at a roast of Goldberg in the 1990s.