Whoopi Goldberg broke her silence yesterday after issuing “devastating” and “dangerous” comments about the Holocaust on the set of her ABC talk show The View.
Together with her panel of co-hosts, Goldberg took part in a discussion earlier this week about a US school board’s decision to ban the Pulitzer prize-winning ‘Maus’, a graphic novel documenting the experiences of a Holocaust survivor.
Goldberg, 66, had said: "Let's be truthful - the Holocaust isn't about race.
"It's about man's inhumanity to man - that's what it's about.”
One of Goldberg’s co-hosts clapped back, however, saying the instead the Holocaust was “about white supremacy.”
Goldberg replied: "But these are two white groups of people.
"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... everybody eats each other.”
Since the episode aired, Goldberg had been the focus of furious reactions and criticisms from angry fans and Jewish organizations.
Jewish ‘Will & Grace’ star Debra Messing took to Twitter, saying “@WhoopiGoldberg You deeply hurt & offended me. By minimizing the horror of the Holocaust, the systematic annihilating of 6 MILLION Jews - which by the was IS a race - an attempted GENOCIDE to white on white crime? You ‘All Lives Matter’-ed us. Devastating and dangerous.”
“Holocaust distortion is dangerous” echoed Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League.
"The Holocaust was about the Nazis' systemic annihilation of the Jewish people - who they deemed to be an inferior race.
"They dehumanised them and used their racist propaganda to justify slaughtering six million Jews.”
Stopantisemitism.org had tweeted: "Six million of us were gassed, starved, and massacred because we were deemed an inferior race by the Nazis.
"How dare you minimise our trauma and suffering!"
'It is about both’
Goldberg took to Twitter on Monday (Jan 31) to issue an apology for her statements: "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.
"As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared: 'The Holocaust was about the Nazis' 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 (waver).
"I am sorry for the hurt I have caused.
"Written with my sincerest apologies. Whoopi Goldberg.”
Greenblatt has since thanked Goldberg for her apology, adding: "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."