Whoopi Goldberg Suspended from “The View”

Whoopi Goldberg Suspended from “The View”

Jazlyn Valentin

Earlier this month, Whoopi Goldberg was suspended from ABC’s hit talk show. “The View,” for two weeks. Her suspension, which would carry out for two weeks after February 1st, was due to a comment she made about the Holocaust—offending many.

The Holocaust was brought up after discussing how two schools were said to be banning books. A school in Washington was said to have banned To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, highlighting racism and inequality, and another school in Tennessee banned Maus by Art Spiegelman, uncovering the cruelty of the Holocaust. The said books were banned after complaints arose from both the students and parents, claiming that it made them uncomfortable. Whoopi Goldberg, as well as the other four hosts on the show, found it unethical to ban these pieces of literature, as they are pieces of history. Articles that teach children about what life was like for those who were considered inferior throughout the 20th century. After the hosts discussed other instances where educational books have been banned, critical race theory, as well as further flaws in the education system, Golderbeg relates the novel Maus: “If you’re going to do this, then let’s be truthful about it, because the Holocaust isn’t about race. It’s not about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man. That’s what it’s about.” Ana Navarro, one of the other hosts, explains that it was “about white supremacy … and going after Jews and gypsies and Roma,” to which Goldberg challenges that it was “two white groups of people….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.”
It is known that when Adolf Hitler rose to power in Nazi Germany, he had viewed Jewish people as the problem in not only Germany but the world. In that, he wanted to eliminate people based on their religion, ethnicity, and race—in other words, whoever he viewed as inferior. Six million Jews were killed. Taking that into consideration, Whoopi’s comment received innumerable backlash.

Later that same day, Goldberg released an apology on Twitter: “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. As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared, ‘The Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people — who they deemed to be an inferior race.’ I stand corrected.” She proceeds, mentioning that “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.”

Hundreds of people went on social media to express how her comment made them feel invalidated. Even the Auschwitz Memorial Museum tweeted a link, directed at Whoopi Goldberg, to their seven-chapter online course about the history of the genocide. Furthermore, 88-year-old Lucy Lipiner, a Holocaust survivor, offered to speak on the show: “I think we can have a meaningful conversation together and heal wounds.”

Though Whoopi Goldberg may not have meant to dismiss those affected, with a talk show as big as “The View,” captivating three million people, misunderstandings are bound to happen. Despite this, it all serves as a lesson to Whoopi, and the other hosts, how much weight their words hold.