Despite weathering plenty of controversies while hosting The View over the years, Whoopi Goldberg says the one instance she was canceled didn’t stem from her time on the daytime talk show. Goldberg, who has been co-hosting the ABC series since 2007, told The New York Times Magazine that she experienced massive backlash and a career fallout long before her time at the Hot Topics table.
Goldberg told the Times Magazine in a profile published Wednesday (Sept. 28) that her joke delivered at a 2004 John Kerry fundraiser resulted in a huge blow to her work and image, resulting in a sponsorship loss and crumbling relationships with friends, who avoided her in public.
The comedian maintained that she delivered a PG bit about President George W. Bush, but her comments were sensationalized in the press. Goldberg was vilified for her “X-rated rant full of sexual innuendos against President Bush,” but those media reports did not actually print the joke that ended up getting her in hot water.
“You know why they couldn’t print what I said?” Goldberg asked the Times Magazine. “Because I didn’t say anything that was bad.”
She recalled her joke to the Times, paraphrasing, “‘I love bush. Somebody’s giving bush a bad name. So let’s take him out and everybody get out and vote.’”
She added, “I might’ve said, ‘[Expletive] — so get out there and [expletive] vote.’ But to hear them talk about it, I was disgusting.”
When the Times fact-checked Goldberg’s joke, they found it included no expletives and “was as tame as she remembered it.”
Goldberg admitted to the Times, “I mean, I did stuff, but I didn’t do what they said I did. And I will take anything that you’re mad at that I actually did. But you cannot accuse me of shit I didn’t do.”
While her Bush blunder is long in the past, Goldberg has had her fair share of fresh controversies, the most recent of which earned her a two-week suspension from The View after she suggested the Holocaust was not about race. Goldberg later apologized for her comments, saying, in part, “Words matter, and mine are no exception.”
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