Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended from The View for two weeks over her Monday remarks about the Holocaust, and most of her co-hosts are furious with the network, sources told The Daily Beast.
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” ABC News president Kimberly Godwin said in a note to staff on Tuesday evening. “While Whoopi has apologized, I’ve asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments.”
She added: “The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, family and communities.”
Godwin further said that “these decisions are never easy, but necessary.” While Goldberg’s comments “do not align” with the values or culture of ABC News, she added, “it was important” that the View host had a chance to address her remarks on Tuesday’s broadcast “and have an educational conversation” with Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
“I appreciate their conversation and his acknowledgment of Whoopi’s efforts,” Godwin concluded.
“People are really upset and don’t understand why it took two days,” an ABC executive told The Daily Beast. But multiple sources said that Goldberg’s co-hosts Sunny Hostin, Joy Behar, and Ana Navarro are furious with the network’s decision.
Navarro, a regular guest host who was on Monday’s broadcast, later told The Daily Beast how sad she was about the entire saga.
“I love Whoopi Goldberg. I love The View,” she said on Tuesday evening. “This was an incredibly unfortunate incident. Whoopi is a lifelong ally to the Jewish community. She is not an antisemite. Period. I am sad. And I have nothing else to say.”
The Oscar-winning actress and comedian, who’s been with the show since 2007, sparked widespread backlash on Monday during a heated discussion on the recent banning of Maus, an award-winning Holocaust graphic novel by a Tennessee school board. Goldberg repeatedly insisted that the Holocaust was not “about race,” and refused to back down even after several co-hosts pointed out that the goal of Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution” was “white supremacy.”
“It’s about man’s inhumanity to man,” she declared, adding that the Holocaust merely involved “two white groups of people.”
Goldberg’s remarks were immediately condemned by the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish groups, with Greenblatt blasting the View moderator for her “dangerous” distortion of Holocaust history.
“[T]he #Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people—who they deemed to be an inferior race,” he said in a statement on Monday afternoon. “They dehumanized them and used this racist propaganda to justify slaughtering 6 million Jews.”
Though Goldberg apologized on Monday evening “for the hurt” she caused “Jewish people around the world,” she appeared to double down on her remarks on that evening’s broadcast of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. (Her appearance was recorded before she released a mea culpa.)
“But I thought it was a salient discussion because, as a Black person, I think of race as being something that I can see," she said to host Stephen Colbert. “So I see you and I know what race you are, and the discussion was about how I felt about that. People were very angry, and they said, ‘No, no, we are a race,’ and I understand. I understand. I felt differently.”
During Tuesday’s broadcast, Goldberg kicked off the program with an expanded apology and a lengthy discussion with Greenblatt.
“I stand corrected and I stand with the Jewish people,” Goldberg said as the ADL boss called for The View to bring on a Jewish host to replace the slot vacated by Meghan McCain.
Reacting to the news of Goldberg’s suspension Tuesday night on CNN, Greenblatt reiterated that her “comments did cause tremendous confusion and hurt” to the Jewish community, especially amid a rash of antisemitic violence across the country. At the same time, he said, he accepted her apology.
“I know she’s been a friend of the Jewish community all throughout her career. And I respect that and appreciate it,” he added. “I can’t comment on ABC News’ internal process. But what I will say is that I hope Whoopi can use the next two weeks for a process of introspection and learning.”