ABC suspends Whoopi over Holocaust remarks, reactions come swift and harsh

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ABC has suspended “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks following her controversial remarks about the Holocaust, which has in itself created a dust storm of controversy as the network was not clear about whether Goldberg will continue to receive her $96,000 weekly salary. In the eyes of many, the star is simply taking a two week hiatus until things cool down.

“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 Tuesday evening. “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 and communities,” Godwin added.

Citing ABC insiders, The Daily Beast reported that Whoopi’s co-hosts on the show, Sunny Hostin, Joy Behar and Ana Navarro, are “furious with the network’s decision” to suspend the actress.

“I love Whoopi Goldberg. I love The View,” Navarro told the outlet Tuesday evening. “This was an incredibly unfortunate incident. Whoopi is a lifelong ally to the Jewish community. She is not an anti-Semite. Period. I am sad. And I have nothing else to say.”

On Monday, Goldberg referred to Jews and Nazis as “two groups of white people,” insisting that the Holocaust was not about “race” but “man’s inhumanity to man.”

As might be expected, the outrageous comment blew up in her face and she took to social media later to apologize: “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. The Jewish people around the world have always had my support and that will never waiver [sic]. I’m sorry for the hurt I have caused.”

On the beginning of Tuesday’s episode of “The View,” Goldberg told viewers that she “misspoke.”

“I tweeted about it last night but I kind of want you to hear it from me directly. I feel a responsibility,” she said to open the show. “My words upset so many people, which was never my intention. I understand why. The information I got was really helpful.”

“I said the Holocaust wasn’t about race and was instead about man’s inhumanity to man. It is indeed about race because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be the inferior race,” she continued. “Words matter and mine are no exception. I regret my comments and I stand corrected.”

Goldberg also told Stephen Colbert during a Tuesday night appearance on The Late Show: “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.”

Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson, which prompted an interesting question:

While many are comparing the incident to how comedian Roseanne Barr was treated, the outlet also reported that an ABC executive said of the suspension, “People are really upset and don’t understand why it took two days.”

Before the suspension, Page Six reported that staffers and fellow hosts on “The View” were furious that Goldberg has not been disciplined, as well as insiders at Disney, which owns ABC. The story  contradicts The Daily Beast reporting.

“ABC staffers and Disney Network execs are saying Whoopi went way too far. And board members are not happy with her apology and want a fuller retraction. The word is that Whoopi is in ‘deep s–t,’” an ABC insider is quoted.

“Why does Whoopi seemingly get a pass when others don’t? Perhaps this time she won’t. Many at the network — including her fellow hosts — believe Whoopi is too controversial now for the show,” the source added, saying the controversy “isn’t just going to blow over.”

“This will cast a shadow over everything for a while. Even Joy Behar was heard saying backstage that Whoopi is ‘dead wrong’ and may not ever recover from this,” the source further claimed. “Joy found this particularly troubling and couldn’t believe Whoopi wouldn’t stand corrected until she was forced.”

Some at ABC are allegedly asking questions like, “How stoned can she be?” Meanwhile, Whoopi’s agents “are panicking that she may have ruined herself for good,” the source alleged.

As for the reaction to the discipline, there’s a general feeling that Whoopi’s just taking a two-week paid vacation until the dust settles… here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

Tom Tillison


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