Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended as co-host of “The View” for two weeks for making “wrong and insensitive comments” regarding Jews and the Holocaust, according to the chairman of ABC News.
“While Whoopi has apologised, I’ve encouraged her to pause and learn about the effect of her remarks.” “The entire ABC News organisation stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, family, and communities,” ABC News President Kim Godwin said in a Twitter statement Tuesday.
The ban comes a day after Goldberg said on “The View” that race did not play a role in the Holocaust. Goldberg apologised hours later and again on Tuesday’s morning show, but the original statement was condemned by several major Jewish leaders.
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“My statements offended so many people, which was never my aim,” she stated Tuesday. “I understand why now, and for that, I am eternally grateful since the information I received was quite beneficial and helped me grasp a variety of issues.”
Goldberg made her original remarks on the show Monday during a discussion about a Tennessee school board’s decision to prohibit “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about Nazi death camps during World War II. The Holocaust, she remarked, was “not about race… it’s about man’s inhumanity to other men.”
“I misspoke,” Goldberg admitted at the start of Tuesday’s episode.
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The uproar over Goldberg’s comments this week underlined the persistent complexities of some race-related topics, such as the widely held but hotly debated belief that only people of colour may be victims of racism.
On Tuesday, “The View” invited Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League and author of “It Could Happen Here,” to address why her statements were offensive.
“Jewish people are feeling persecuted right now,” Greenblatt remarked.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, lauded Goldberg for being outspoken on social concerns throughout the years but said he couldn’t understand her Holocaust statement.
“The only answer I can think of is that there is a new definition of racism that has lately been made public that defines racism solely as the targeting of persons of colour.” “Of course, history teaches us otherwise,” Cooper remarked.
“Everything about Nazi Germany, the persecution of Jews, and the Holocaust was based on race and prejudice.” That is a terrible, indisputable historical fact,” he stated.
The chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Kenneth L. Marcus, linked Goldberg’s views to broader misconceptions about the Holocaust, Jewish identity, and antisemitism.
“In her error, she was reflecting a pervasive and dangerous misunderstanding of Jewish identity that is sometimes defined as abrasive antisemitism,” said Marcus, author of ‘The Definition of Anti-Semitism.’
“It is the assumption that Jews should only be perceived as white, privileged oppressors,” he explained. “It denies Jewish identity while whitewashing Jewish history.”
Marcus discussed the employment of anti-Jewish stereotypes “about being powerful, domineering, and dangerous,” as well as downplaying or denying antisemitism.
Because of the country’s diversity, being Jewish is rarely perceived in racial terms in Israel. However, Jewish identity extends much beyond religion. Israelis sometimes refer to the “Jewish people” or “Jewish country,” describing a group or civilization united by a similar history, culture, language, and customs, as well as strong ties to Jewish communities around the world.
On Monday’s episode of “The View,” Goldberg, who is Black, expressed surprise that some Tennessee school board members were uncomfortable with the nudity in “Maus.”
“I mean, it’s about the Holocaust, the slaughter of six million people, but that didn’t concern you?” she asked. “If you’re going to do this, let’s be honest about it.” Because the Holocaust has nothing to do with race. No, it has nothing to do with race.”
Despite opposition from several of her fellow panellists, she stuck to her views.
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., responded to Goldberg with a tweet.
“Racism was at the heart of Nazi ideology.” Jews were defined by their race rather than their faith. It stated that “Nazi racist ideologies spurred genocide and mass slaughter.”
The tweet also provided a link to the museum’s online encyclopaedia, which stated that the Nazis blamed negative perceptions about Jews on a biologically established racial background.
There were several calls for Goldberg’s dismissal on Twitter, where it looked to be caught up in the typical battles between left and right.
Greenblatt suggested that the talk show, which is looking for a new co-host after Meghan McCain left last summer, consider hiring a Jewish woman to keep the subject of antisemitism in the spotlight.