Whoopi Goldberg has issued an apology for her recent remarks about Jewish people.
Last week, the Anti-Defamation League called out Goldberg for making “deeply offensive” comments to The Sunday Times of London.
In an interview with the British newspaper, Goldberg suggested Jews are not a race. “My best friend said, ‘Not for nothing is there no box on the census for the Jewish race.’ So that leads me to believe that we’re probably not a race,” Whoopi shared.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement that Goldberg’s comments “are deeply offensive and incredibly disappointing, especially given that this is not the first time she had made remarks like this. In a moment when antisemitic incidents have surged across the U.S., she should realize that making such ignorant statements can have real consequences.”
Goldberg has since apologized in a statement to Variety.
“Recently while doing press in London, I was asked about my comments from earlier this year,” she said. “I tried to convey to the reporter what I had said and why, and attempted to recount that time. It was never my intention to appear as if I was doubling down on hurtful comments, especially after talking with and hearing people like rabbis and old and new friends weighing in. I’m still learning a lot and believe me, I heard everything everyone said to me. I believe that the Holocaust was about race, and I am still as sorry now as I was then that I upset, hurt and angered people. My sincere apologies again, especially to everyone who thought this was a fresh rehash of the subject. I promise it was not. In this time of rising antisemitism, I want to be very clear when I say that I always stood with the Jewish people and always will. My support for them has not wavered and never will.”
Goldberg was referring to the comments she made earlier this year on The View, in which she suggested that the Holocaust was not racially motivated. Whoopi made the following statement as the show’s hosts were discussing a Tennessee school district decision to ban Art Spiegelman’s poignant graphic novel about the Holocaust, Maus.
“Well also, if you’re going to do this, then let’s be truthful about it, because the Holocaust isn’t about race. It’s not about race,” she said in February.
Whoopi was subsequently suspended from The View for two weeks, which ABC News President Kin Godwin announced in a statement.
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” Godwin wrote. “While Whoopi has apologized, I’ve ask 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.”