Whoopi Goldberg issued an apology for saying that the Holocaust was “not about race” on the show Monday morning.
“The View” co-host attempted to quell the outrage over her remarks by posting a tweet that offered her “sincerest apologies.”
“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,” Goldberg said in a statement Monday night.
“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.
“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.
“Written with my sincerest apologies, Whoopi Goldberg.”
In a Monday night appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Goldberg addressed the Holocaust comments before talking about an upcoming Lifetime movie that she produced.
“It upset a lot of people which was never ever ever ever my intention,” she told Colbert. “I thought it was a salient discussion because as a black person I think of race as being something that I can see. People were very angry and they said ‘no no we are a race – and I understand.
“People, you know, decided I was all these other things I’m actually not. I’m incredibly torn up by being told these things about myself. And I get it, folks are angry. I accept that and I did it to myself,” she said. “This was my thought process and I’ll work hard not to think that way again.”
Goldberg argued that the Holocaust went beyond race during a discussion about a Tennessee school district’s decision to ban the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “Maus,” about a Holocaust survivor.
“The Holocaust isn’t about race. No, it’s not about race,” Goldberg, 66, said repeatedly. “It’s about man’s inhumanity to man.”
Co-host Ana Navarro quickly disagreed, interrupting Goldberg and insisting “it’s about white supremacy. That’s what it’s about. It’s about going after Jews and Gypsies.”
“But these are two groups of white people,” Goldberg shot back. “You’re missing the point. The minute you turn it into race, it goes down this alley. Let’s talk about it for what it is. It’s how people treat each other. It’s a problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white because black, white, Jews, Italians, everybody eats each other.”
Many of the hosts talked over each other during the turbulent discussion, which awkwardly and abruptly ended when Goldberg, while everyone else was still speaking, turned to the camera to declare it time for a commercial break.
Goldberg received immediate backlash as a result of her comments, including from Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, whom Goldberg acknowledged in her apology.
“No @WhoopiGoldberg, the #Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people – who they deemed to be an inferior race,” he tweeted. They dehumanized them and used this racist propaganda to justify slaughtering 6 million Jews. Holocaust distortion is dangerous. #ENOUGH
Liora Rez, executive director of watchdog group StopAntisemitism, called Goldberg’s comments “reprehensible.”
“I am the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors on both sides of my family. To say that the Holocaust was not about race when everything the Nazis did was to ensure the purity of the Aryan race is blatantly untrue, and it is reprehensible,” said Rez. “Six million Jews were gassed, starved and massacred because we were deemed an inferior race. For Goldberg to minimize our trauma and suffering by claiming we are from a privileged class is the epitome of whitewashing and gaslighting Jews, and it needs to stop.”
Greenblatt thanked Goldberg for her apology in another tweet Monday night.
“Thanks @WhoopiGoldberg for correcting your prior statement and acknowledging the #Holocaust for what it was,” he wrote. “As #antisemitism surges to historic levels, I hope we can work together to combat ignorance of that horrific crime and the hate that threatens all.”