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Whoopi Goldberg is back on The View after Holocaust controversy, two-week suspension

Whoopi Goldberg on the red carpet
Whoopi Goldberg is back in her seat as a co-host on The View again following a two-week suspension from ABC News for comments she made about the Holocaust and race. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Acepixs

On Monday, Whoopi Goldberg reclaimed her seat at the table on the ABC daytime talk show The View following a two-week suspension for controversial comments she made about the Holocaust.

Whoopi had been suspended from The View on February 1 for comments she made regarding the Holocaust and race on the January 31 show.

The Ghost actress and comedian, 66, who has been a co-host on The View since 2007, was happy to be back on the set, telling the viewers that she is thrilled her suspension has ended and being a part of “tough conversations” and hot topics that the ladies of The View are used to having.

What did Whoopi Goldberg say to get suspended from The View?

On January 31, the co-hosts of The View were discussing a Tennessee school board’s decision to ban the Pulitzer Prize nonfiction book Maus by Art Spiegelman. The graphic novel tells the story of the author’s father, who was a Polish Holocaust survivor.

The book was being banned by the school, not for the topic, but because it contained both nudity and “inappropriate language.”

That’s when Whoopi said, “Let’s be truthful about it. Holocaust isn’t about race.”

She continued, “It’s not about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man.”

The View co-host and political strategist Ana Navarro jumped in and said, “Well, it’s about white supremacy. That’s what it’s about. It’s about going after Jews and Gypsies.”

Whoopi disagreed, replying, “But these are two groups of white 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, Italians, everybody eats each other.”

Whoopi’s controversial comments received quite a bit of backlash, particularly from Jewish organizations, including the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the Anti-Defamation League.

On January 31, the day of the show, the comedian posted an apology tweet to her 1.6 million followers:

The following day, February 1, Whoopi acknowledged her remarks during the opening of the show.

“Yesterday on our show, I misspoke,” Whoopi said. “I said that the Holocaust wasn’t about race, and it was instead about man’s inhumanity to man — 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 as you all know because I’ve always done that.”

Whoopi was suspended for two weeks by Kim Godwin, president of ABC News, on February 1. In a statement, the president said, “Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments. 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,” the statement also read.

Whoopi is back on the air

Whoopi’s suspension ended on Monday, Valentine’s Day, and the talk show host was elated to return to the show.

“Well, hello, hello, hello and welcome to ‘The View.’ And yes, I am back… And I missed you all, too,” Whoopi began.

She then continued, “I’ve got to tell you, there’s something kind of marvelous about being on a show like this, because we are ‘The View’ and this is what we do. And sometimes we don’t do it as delicately as we could… But it’s five minutes to get in important information about topics. And that’s what we try to do every day.” 

Whoopi also said yesterday, “And I’m telling you, people reached out from places that made me go, ‘Wait, wait, what? Really? OK!’ And it was amazing and I listened to everything everybody had to say and I was very grateful, and I hope it keeps all the important conversations happening because we’re going to keep having tough conversations.

“And in part, because this is what we have been hired to do. And it’s not always pretty, as I said, and it’s not always as other people would like to hear, but it is an honor to sit at this table and be able to have these conversations because they’re important. They’re important to us as a nation, and to us more so as a human entity. So, happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! And we’re going to get started, because that’s what we do.”

The View airs at 11/10c on ABC.

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