American actress Whoopi Goldberg was suspended for two weeks on Tuesday from the show she co-hosts on American channel ABC, after claiming the day before that the Holocaust was not “not a matter of race”.
She apologized on Monday for the statement made as she sought to defend the Holocaust graphic novel “Maus,” recently banned from the school curriculum by authorities in a southern U.S. county.
But Kim Godwin, president of ABC, felt that was not enough and decided to suspend the host of the famous talk show “The View”.
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks after her ill-advised and damaging comments”Ms. Godwin said in a statement posted on a Twitter account of the chain.
“I asked him to take the time to think”
“Although Whoopi apologized, I asked her to take the time to reflect and learn from the impact of her comments”she added, pointing out that “The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, families and communities”.
On the daily show, the 66-year-old actress lamented that classics like “Maus” (1986), in which cartoonist Art Spiegelman recounts the harrowing memories of her Holocaust survivor father, or “Don’t Shoot Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, be banned from American schools.
Then she added that the Holocaust was not “not a question of race, it is a question of inhumanity of men towards men”remarks that immediately surprised her interlocutors on set.
“I should have said it was related to both”apologized on Twitter the Oscar-winning actress in 1991 for her role in “Ghost”, considered a pioneer in the breakthrough of black actors on the American stage.
“Jews around the world have always had my support and that will never change”
“As Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL, which fights anti-Semitism and racism, editor’s note) said, the Holocaust was the Nazis’ systematic destruction of the Jewish people, whom they considered an inferior race”she added. “Jews around the world have always had my support and that will never change. »
“I’m sorry that my words caused this pain”concluded, presenting his ” sincere apologies “the one who recently took a stand against restrictions on abortion, discrimination against homosexuals or for the distribution of anti-Covid vaccines to poor countries.
The Holocaust Museum in Washington pointed out on Twitter that “Racism was central to Nazi ideology” and “Jews were not only defined by their religion, but in terms of race”without referring directly to the comments of the actress.
“Maus” awarded with a Pulitzer Prize in 1992
Whoopi Goldberg made her statement during a discussion about the decision of a school in McMinn County, Tennessee, which, judging its content “vulgar and inappropriate” for 13-year-old middle schoolers, voted Jan. 10 to drop “Maus” from the curriculum until another Holocaust book is found.
Winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 – a first for a comic strip – “Maus” has been translated into more than twenty languages.
Author and Holocaust survivor Lucy Lipiner offered to discuss the issue with Whoopi Goldberg on her show.
“I may be 88, but I have the energy to come on your show and talk to @WhoopiGoldberg and all the girls about the Holocaust”tweeted Ms. Lipner. “I think we can have a meaningful conversation together and heal the wounds. »
Other controversial statements in the past
Whoopi Goldberg has made other controversial statements in the past, defending comedian Bill Cosby (later sentenced to prison) accused of sexual assault by dozens of women before recanting or downplaying accusations of rape against the director Roman Polanski, who had pleaded guilty in 1977 in the United States to embezzlement of a minor.
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United States: Whoopi Goldberg suspended by ABC after remarks on the Holocaust