“So yesterday on our show, I misspoke,” Goldberg said. “And I tweeted about it last night but I kind of want you to hear it from me directly. I said something that I feel a responsibility for not leaving unexamined, because my words upset so many people, which was never my intention. And I understand why now and for that, I am deeply, deeply grateful because the information I got was really helpful and helped me understand some different things. And while discussing how a Tennessee school board unanimously voted to remove a graphic novel about the Holocaust, I said that the Holocaust wasn’t about race and it was instead about man’s inhumanity to man. But it is indeed about race, because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be an inferior race. Now, 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.”
She then introduced Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League and the author of It Could Happen Here, a book about increasing hate in the United States, who explained in a 10-minute segment why the Holocaust was, in fact, about race.
Still, one of Goldberg’s former co-hosts, Meghan McCain, addressed the situation Tuesday afternoon on social media: “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,” she wrote. “The growing threat is real and virulent and everywhere. I am heartbroken about what was said.”
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.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) February 1, 2022
One day earlier, Goldberg had argued on the talk show that the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazi regime had been about “man’s inhumanity to man.” She was quickly called out by Greenblatt and the ADL, the Auschwitz Memorial and others.
No @WhoopiGoldberg, the #Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people – who they deemed to be an inferior race. They dehumanized them and used this racist propaganda to justify slaughtering 6 million Jews. Holocaust distortion is dangerous. #ENOUGH https://t.co/koS1kuspqV
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) January 31, 2022
As Variety noted, Goldberg said during a guest appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert hours later, that her words had “upset a lot of people, which was never, ever, ever my intention.”
By Monday night, she tweeted an apology, citing Greenblatt:
“On today’s show, I said the Holocaust ‘is not about race, but about man’s inhumanity to man.’ I should have said it is about both. As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared, ‘The Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systemic annihilation of the Jewish people — who they deemed to be an inferior race.’ I stand corrected. The Jewish people around the world have always had my support and that will never waiver. I’m sorry for the hurt I have caused.” She signed off with “written with my sincerest apologies, Whoopi Goldberg.”
Goldberg made her initial remarks while the co-hosts discussed a decision by the McMinn County School Board in Tennessee to remove Maus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel, featuring mice in the role of Jews and cats in the role of Nazis, as a way of teaching children about the atrocities that took place, from students’ curriculum.