Whoopi Goldberg Opens 'The View' by Addressing Her Remarks on the Holocaust: 'It Was About Race'

The 66-year-old talk show host also said 'words matter' following her controversial remarks on Monday's episode.

Whoopi Goldberg regrets her controversial remarks about the Holocaust, saying on Tuesday's episode of The View that she "misspoke" but that "words matter."

The 66-year-old talk show host issued her remarks at the top of the show, which also included the guest appearance of Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, who offered Goldberg and The View's audience more insight about the subject. 

"Yesterday on our show, I misspoke," said Goldberg in reference to Monday's remarks that triggered outrage after saying "the Holocaust isn't about race." "I said something that I feel a responsibility for not leaving unexamined, because my words upset so many people, which was never intentional and I understand why now. For that, I'm deeply grateful. The information I got was really helpful and helped me understand some different things."

"[The Holocaust] is indeed about race," she continued, "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 and I stand corrected. I also stand with the Jewish people, as they know and ya'll know, because I've always done that."

Greenblatt was adamant that "there's no question that the Holocaust was about race."

"The first page of Maus, the book you were talking about yesterday, Whoopi, opens with a quote from Hitler, and literally it says: 'The Jews undoubtedly are a race, but they are not human.' Hitler's ideology, the Third Reich, was predicated on the idea that the Aryans, the Germans, were a 'master race,' and the Jews were a subhuman race," Greenblatt added. "It was a racialized antisemitism. Now that might not fit exactly or feel different than the way we think about race in 21st century America, where, primarily it's about people of color, but throughout the Jewish people's history, they've been marginalized, they've been persecuted, and they've been slaughtered in large part because many people felt they were not just a different religion, but indeed a different race. And your platform, Whoopi, is so important using it to educate people that antisemitism remains a clear and present danger. It's a real issue and we've got to confront it, and the racism at the core."

Goldberg apologized Monday night in a statement she posted on Twitter following the mounting backlash for her remarks that stemmed from the panelist discussing the recent banning of Maus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, by a school board in Tennessee.

"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," she wrote. 

Goldberg continued, "As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared, 'The Holocaust was about the Nazi's systematic annihilation of the Jewish people -- who they deemed to be an inferior race.' I stand corrected."

Goldberg then gave her "sincerest apologies," concluding her statement, "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."

Also on Monday night, during an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Goldberg shed light on what led her to make the remark earlier that day.

"I feel, being Black, when we talk about race it's a very different thing to me... People got very, very, very angry and still are angry. I'm getting all the mail from folks, and very real anger because people feel very differently," she told Colbert. "As a Black person, I think of race as something people can see. So I see you and what race you are."



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