Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended by the ABC network for two weeks after claiming that that the Holocaust was not about race but instead about “man’s inhumanity to man” and “white people fighting each other”.
She made the comments on Monday on The View, a programme that she co-hosts, eliciting outrage from Jewish groups around the world, including Campaign Against Antisemitism. She then published a statement apologising, and on Monday evening, she went on a late-night television show to apologise again (the interview was recorded before she published her statement but broadcast after), but appeared at the same time to double down on the comments, saying that the Nazis had lied and actually were concerned with ethnicity rather than race.
On Tuesday, the Oscar-winning actress opened her programme by saying: “Yesterday on the show I misspoke. [The Holocaust] is indeed about race, because Hitler and the Nazis considered the Jews to be an inferior race. Now, words matter, and mine are no exception. I regret my comments and I stand corrected. I also stand with the Jewish people.”
In a memo to staff last night, ABC News President Kim Godwin wrote: “Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments. While Whoopi has apologised, 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.” She added: “These decisions are never easy, but necessary. Just last week I noted that the culture at ABC News is one that is driven, kind, inclusive, respectful, and transparent. Whoopi’s comments do not align with those values.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Holocaust revisionists are not all white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Some are people like Whoopi Goldberg saying things like this. Despite her subsequent television appearance in which she claimed to be ‘torn up’ that people accused her of being antisemitic, she then doubled down by insisting that the Nazis took issue only with ethnicity, not race. Ms Goldberg would do well to listen to Jewish voices and undertake a course in Holocaust education.”