Goldberg’s suspension was announced in a statement released by ABC News public relations on Tuesday night.
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“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” reads a statement attributed to Kim Godwin, president at ABC News. “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.”
Goldberg’s comments on “The View” reached the highest level of decision makers at Disney, Variety can confirm. According to sources, Peter Rice, the chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content, was consulted on the public fallout for Goldberg.
Goldberg’s remarks emerged during a conversation on Monday’s broadcast of “The View,” in which the co-hosts discussed a Tennessee school board’s ban of “Maus,” a nonfiction graphic novel about cartoonist Art Spiegelman’s father’s experience surviving the Holocaust.
“Let’s be truthful about it because [the] Holocaust isn’t about race,” Goldberg said on Monday’s episode. “It’s not about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man.”
The remarks drew immediate, sweeping criticism from Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League and the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
“The Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systemic annihilation of the Jewish people — who they deemed to be an inferior race,” wrote Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. “They dehumanized them and used their racist propaganda to justify slaughtering 6 million Jews. Holocaust distortion is dangerous.”
Later Monday, Goldberg apologized for her remarks on social media. She then offered an on-air apology on Tuesday’s episode of “The View.” Greenblatt also appeared as a guest on the broadcast.
“So yesterday on our show, I misspoke,” Goldberg said at the top of the show. “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 the 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 as you all know because I’ve always done that.”
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