Whoopi Goldberg Suspended Despite Apology After Firestorm Over Holocaust Remarks

The View host Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended from the show for two weeks following her controversial comments on the Holocaust.

The suspension was handed down Tuesday night despite Goldberg apologizing for her remarks both on Tuesday on The View and during a Monday night appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

"While Whoopi has apologized, I've asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments," ABC News President Kim Godwin said in a statement. "The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, families, and communities."

CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy also obtained an internal letter from Godwin that had been sent to ABC employees. In the letter, Godwin told employees that "the culture at ABC News is one that is driven, kind, inclusive, respectful, and transparent."

"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," the letter continued. "But words matter and we must be cognizant of the impact our words have."

Goldberg's suspension comes following a guest appearance on The View from Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who Goldberg had reportedly invited onto the show.

Responding to Goldberg's Monday statement that the Holocaust was not about race, Greenblatt explained how the mass extermination of the Jewish people was, in fact, about race.

Johnathan Greenblatt
The next national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, speaks onstage at the morning session of the ADL Annual Meeting on November 6, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. Greenblatt was on The View Tuesday where he discussed Goldberg's controversial comments about the Holocaust. Michael Kovac/WireImage

"There's no question that the Holocaust was about race. That's how the Nazis saw it as they perpetrated the systematic annihilation of the Jewish people across continents, across countries with deliberate and ruthless cruelty ... The first page of Maus—the book you were talking about yesterday, Whoopi—it opens with a quote from Hitler. And literally, it says, 'The Jews undoubtedly are a race, but they are not human.'"

Greenblatt went on to discuss specifically how Hitler's views on race shaped the events that took place leading to the deaths of 6 million Jews.

"You see Hitler's ideology—the Third Reich—was predicated on the idea that the Aryans, the Germans were a quote master race and the Jews were a subhuman race. It was a racialized antisemitism."

The head of ADL then drew a comparison between the racism at work in the Holocaust and a form of racism on display in the U.S.

"The racism at the core...that the Nazis implemented, their Nuremberg laws, right? Which dehumanized the Jewish people—my grandfather, my ancestors, lived with this in Germany. In many ways, the Jim Crow South used some of the same standards against Black people that were used against Jews. Except the Jews were ultimately put into cattle cars and incinerated."

Also, on Tuesday's show, Goldberg issued an apology for her comments many found to be insensitive and antisemitic. She said she "misspoke" and that it was never her intention for her words to "upset so many people." The actress went on to say that "words matter and mine are no exception. I regret my comments, as I said, and I stand corrected. I also stand with the Jewish people, as they know and y'all know because I've always done that."

Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg speaks during the City of Hope's East End Chapter/Jeanne Kaye League of New York City's Spirit of Life Awards broadcast on May 10, 2021. The actress and television personality has apologized for saying the Holocaust wasn’t about race. Jamie McCarthy/Getty for BCRF

Greenblatt's appearance and Goldberg's apology on the popular daytime talk show come after Goldberg said on Monday that the Holocaust was not about race. Instead, the Oscar winner said the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people was about "how people treat each other."

"The Holocaust isn't about race. No, it's not about race. But it's not about race. It's not about race. It's about man's inhumanity to man. That's what it's about."

Greenblatt was far from the only person who took exception to Goldberg's comments, a former host of The View also made her feelings known.

Meghan McCain posted on Twitter: "I hate commenting on my old employer because I have moved in every way a person can move on. That being said I am an activist against antisemitism and it is a big part of my life. The growing threat is real and virulent and everywhere. I am heartbroken about what was said."

Update (02/01/2022, 10:30 p.m.): This story has been updated with additional information and a new headline to reflect Goldberg's suspension from The View.