Whoopi Goldberg's Former 'View' Co-Host Michelle Collins Speaks Out: 'She's Not an Anti-Semite'

Collins was a co-host on 'The View' from 2015 to 2016.

Michelle Collins is weighing in on Whoopi Goldberg's controversy. On the latest episode of SiriusXM's The Michelle Collins Show, the former co-host of The View, who appeared on the show between 2015 and 2016, addressed Goldberg's recent remarks on the Holocaust, for which she has apologized and been suspended for two weeks.

Collins, one of only two Jewish co-hosts to ever appear on The View (the other is Barbara Walters), began her discussion by praising Goldberg.

"When I was on that show, Whoopi Goldberg was one of the most supportive, nicest, people there to me," she said. "... I know Whoopi fairly well. I know her family. I adore her. I look up to her. She's literally one of the icons of a generation. Whoopi is not only brilliantly smart, brilliantly talented, hilarious, but very loving and very lovely."

Goldberg drew controversy when she said, "The Holocaust isn't about race. It's about man's inhumanity to man. These are two white groups of people." While Collins acknowledged that Goldberg's statement was "obviously... not the case," the radio show host said that she believes it wasn't said with ill intent.

"I don't believe she said it to hurt the Jewish people," Collins said of Goldberg. "I think you're on a live show and things are said. The headlines that come out of that show are so brutal... You see those words, people don't take the time to read, and then they lose their s**t. In this case, she did make a mistake."

Following Goldberg's comments on The View, she appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to speak about the situation. 

"As a Black person, I think of race as something people can see. So I see you and what race you are," Goldberg said in part. "People were very angry and they said, 'No, no, we are a race,' and I understand. I felt differently. I respect everything everyone is saying to me and I don't want to fake apologize. I'm very upset that people misunderstood what I was saying. Because of it, they're saying I'm anti-Semitic and I'm denying the Holocaust and all these other things, which would never occur to me to do."

On her radio show, Collins categorized Goldberg's Colbert statement as "a little bit wishy washy," but noted, "I love her, so I'm like, 'All right.'" The next day, Goldberg spoke on The View, and gave, Collins said, "a very lovely apology."

"[The Holocaust] is indeed about race, because Hitler and the Nazis considered the Jews to be an inferior race," Goldberg said in part. "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 y'all know, because I've always done that."

The same day, the show welcomed Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, on as a guest, a move Collins appreciated.

"It was a learning moment, which we don't have anymore, because what happens in this day and age is we don't learn anymore, we just cut the cord, we cancel, we're done. It's like, 'Get rid of this person,'" Collins said. "There's no forgiveness left. It's very cruel, really."

After Tuesday's episode of The View, though, Kim Godwin, President of ABC News, told ET in a statement that the network was suspending Goldberg for two weeks "for her wrong and hurtful comments."

Goldberg's suspension wasn't addressed on Wednesday's episode of the show, except when Joy Behar said, "You all saw the news. Whoopi will be back here in two weeks."

Collins, who noted that she has not spoken to Goldberg in the wake of the controversy, offered "a few theories" about her former co-worker's suspension.

"Part of me wonders if she sort of sacrificed herself," Collins theorized. "I don't think ABC would just suspend Whoopi lightly at all. If she maybe felt like, 'This is what's going to take the heat off the show. As long as people are going to see me on there [they're going to talk about it]. Let me go away for two weeks, I'll come back, and we'll move on, because the way the news cycle works, two weeks from now who the hell's going to even remember.'"

"I think, maybe that's what happened. This way it's like she's 'penalized,' whatever," she continued. "I don't know. I'm just guessing. It is really hard for me to picture ABC suspending her without her consent. That's my opinion."

Whatever the reasoning behind the suspension, Collins said of Goldberg, "I know she's not an anti-Semite. She is someone who actually really appreciates other cultures and really learns about them." Collins additionally stated that Goldberg's comments are "a learning moment."

"This language really is important. I think Whoopi knows that. I think that's why they had the ADL on," she said. "... Maybe this was a mistake. Maybe she really felt this way and is now seeing the other side. I don't know if suspension was the answer, perhaps she wanted it that way. I don't know what to tell you."

"I'm not defending what she said. I don't agree with it. I think it's a learning moment," Collins added. "We should all learn about our brothers and sisters here on planet Earth, not just Jewish people, everybody, but also try to eradicate the hate that makes that sentence that Whoopi said sort of almost innocently so dangerous. That's the thing... [Whoopi's] not an evil person. But by putting that line out there, you make people who may have evil intentions stronger. That's what scares me."

Collins concluded her comments by stating, "I love Whoopi Goldberg. I'll end on that. Let's just please start thinking clearly. She apologized for what she said. I felt the apology was sincere. I know it was because she's not someone who would ever want to hurt the Jewish community."