Whoopi Goldberg Apologizes (Again) for Making Offensive Comments About the Holocaust (Again)
Whoopi Goldberg has come under fire once again for offensive comments about the Holocaust. The View co-host first began sharing her controversial views on the Holocaust earlier this year. During a January episode of The View, while discussing the banning of the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman, Goldberg claimed that the Holocaust wasn’t about race. Rather than being about the systemic genocide of Jews, she claimed the Holocaust was “white people doing it to white people,” and that it was about “man’s inhumanity to man.”
Goldberg received backlash from Holocaust survivors and experts, as well as leaders in the Jewish community, following her comments. Meanwhile, ABC responded to Goldberg’s statements by slapping her with a two-week suspension from The View. Following the backlash, she released an apology in which she claimed to have changed her stance and acknowledged that she stood corrected. After the two-week suspension was up, Goldberg was permitted to continue her hosting duties on The View.
However, during an interview published on December 24, Goldberg called the sincerity of her apology into question when she appeared to double down on her previous statements. Goldberg further delved into her claim that the Holocaust wasn’t “about race,” due to her assertion that Jews aren’t a race. While she has once more apologized, Goldberg’s comments have resulted in outrage and calls for her to be permanently terminated from The View.
Whoopi Goldberg’s Holocaust comments, explained
During an interview with The Times of London, Goldberg was asked about the controversial views she expressed in January. In reference to her previous statements, the reporter explained that the Holocaust was about race because “Nazis saw Jews as a race.” Goldberg responded by claiming that the Jews weren’t a race just because the Nazis said it was so. She also reiterated that the Holocaust “wasn’t originally” about race. She stated, “Remember who they were killing first. They were not killing racial; they were killing physical. They were killing people they considered to be mentally defective. And then they made this decision.”
Despite plenty of evidence (such as the Nuremberg Laws) that the Nazis saw Jews as a race and specifically targeted and discriminated against Jewish people, Goldberg refused to change her stance. She stated, “They did that to Black people, too. But it doesn’t change the fact that you could not tell a Jew on a street. You could find me. You couldn’t find them.”
Her statements showed a deep lack of understanding about race, the Holocaust, and the nature of antisemitism. Antisemitism is prejudice against Jews as a racial group. While some try to argue that Judaism is only a religion, that wasn’t the lens through which Adolf Hitler viewed Jews. The Nazis annihilated anyone with any Jewish roots whatsoever, even if they had been raised adhering to a different religion. Additionally, the racism of the Nazis against Jews has been proven, making what Goldberg is saying little more than historical revisionism.
The aftermath of Goldberg’s Holocaust comments
Shortly after Goldberg’s interview was published, Auschwitz Memorial took to its official Twitter with a historical document—a 1919 letter written by Hitler. In the text, Hitler adamantly refers to Jews as a “race” three times within the first few sentences.
Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League slammed Goldberg for her ignorant claims about the Holocaust and race. In a Twitter thread, Greenblatt explained that the “Nazi regime was inherently racist” and used “pseudo-scientific theories of race” to justify their persecution of Jews, who they considered to be an inferior race.
Goldberg has since issued an apology in a statement to Variety. She largely echoed the sentiments she expressed in her first apology back in January—that she had learned that the Holocaust was about race and was sorry for her hurtful comments. Goldberg also claimed that, in her interview with The Times of London, she was explaining the views she held back in January, and not doubling down on her current views. She stated:
I’m still learning a lot and believe me, I heard everything everyone said to me. I believe that the Holocaust was about race, and I am still as sorry now as I was then that I upset, hurt and angered people. My sincere apologies again, especially to everyone who thought this was a fresh rehash of the subject.
Given her history, not everyone was impressed by her apology, and #FireWhoopi quickly started trending on Twitter. Unfortunately, plenty of conservative folks were all too happy to co-opt the hashtag for reasons that had little to do with antisemitism and more to do with far-right ideas.
So far, ABC has not responded to the latest controversial comments from Goldberg. However, it would be in their best interest to take action, as Goldberg seemingly did not learn much from her last slap on the wrist.
(featured image: Dia Dipasupil, Getty Images)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]