The daytime panel show co-host will be off the program for two weeks after making controversial comments Monday about the Jewish people and the Holocaust in response to a local school board banning the graphic novel Maus.
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ABC News president Kim Godwin announced the decision in a note to staff Tuesday night.
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” Godwin said. “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.”
“These decisions are never easy, but necessary,” she added in her memo. “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.”
Goldberg apologized on the program earlier on Tuesday, in a segment that also included an interview with Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
“Yesterday on the show I misspoke,” Goldberg said to open the talk show. “[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.”
The controversy erupted on Monday’s show, when Goldberg said during a segment about Maus: “Let’s be truthful about it because Holocaust isn’t about race. It’s not about race. It’s not about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man.”
Co-host Ana Navarro responded to Goldberg, saying: “But it’s about white supremacists going after Jews.“
“But these are two white groups of people!” Goldberg replied. “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 doesn’t matter if you’re Black or white, Jews, it’s each other.”
Goldberg made similar comments on CBS’ Late Show Monday evening, but also released an apology on her social media feeds, saying, “I’m sorry for the hurt that I have caused.”
Read Godwin’s memo, below.
From: “Godwin, Kim”
Good evening ABC News—
I want to follow up with you all regarding Whoopi Goldberg’s comments on “The View” yesterday that were misinformed, upsetting and hurtful. I have made the decision to suspend Whoopi from “The View” for two weeks effective immediately.
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.
It was important that Whoopi had a chance to address her comments on the show today where she made them and have an educational conversation with Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
I appreciate their conversation and his acknowledgement of Whoopi’s efforts. As he tweeted, “Deeply appreciate @WhoopiGoldberg inviting me on to @TheView today to have an important discussion on the importance of educating about the Holocaust. Whoopi has been a long-time ally of the Jewish community and @ADL and her apology is very much welcome.”
Whoopi has shown through her actions over many years that she understands the horrors of the Holocaust and she started today’s show with that recognition.
But words matter and we must be cognizant of the impact our words have.
I’ll be issuing the below statement shortly.
“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.”
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