Whoopi Goldberg on Monday night told Stephen Colbert she ‘got’ why her comments about the Holocaust had so angered and upset people – while attempting to explain her logic and justify her remarks.
Goldberg, 66, sparked anger earlier on Monday during a discussion about race.
‘Let’s be truthful about it,’ she said.
‘The Holocaust isn’t about race. It’s not about race. It’s not about race. It’s not about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man. That’s what it’s about.
Co-hosts Ana Navarro, Joy Behar and Sarah Haines all argued with her, but Goldberg was unrepentant.
‘These are two white groups of people. You are 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,’ Goldberg said.
She told Colbert that she was dismayed that she had offended so many people.
‘It upset a lot of people, which was never ever ever my intention,’ Goldberg said.
Whoopi Goldberg on Monday night appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and attempted to explain her controversial remarks about the Holocaust
Goldberg admitted to Colbert that she ‘did a lot of harm to myself’ with her Holocaust remarks
She then attempted to justify her remarks.
‘I feel, being black, when we talk about race it’s a very different thing to me.
‘So I said I thought the Holocaust wasn’t about race.
‘And it made people very angry. I’m getting a lot of mail from folks and a lot of anger.
‘But I thought it was a salient discussion because as a black person I think of race as being something that I can see.’
Goldberg said that, if the Ku Klux Klan were approaching, she would run but a Jewish friend would be safe, and insisted the Nazis weren’t racist, but rather evil.
‘When you talk about being a racist, you can’t call this racism,’ she said.
‘This was evil.
‘This wasn’t based on skin. You couldn’t tell who was Jewish.
‘You had to delve deeply and figure it out.
‘My point is: they had to do the work.
‘If the Klan is coming down the street and I’m standing with a Jewish friend: I’m going to run.
‘But if my friend decides not to run, they’ll get passed by most times.
‘Because you can’t tell who is Jewish. You don’t know.’
Goldberg is seen leaving The Late Show in Manhattan after taping her interview
The 66-year-old was seen striding through the snow in Manhattan as she appeared on the chat show
The Manhattan-born actor and comedian, who has hosted The View since 2007, said that she received a strong response to her remarks.
‘People were very angry, and said no, we are a race.
‘And I understand.
‘I felt differently. I respect everything everyone is saying to me.
‘I don’t want to fake apologize.
‘I am very upset that people misunderstood what I was saying.
‘And because of it they are saying I am anti-Semitic, and denying the Holocaust, and all these other things that would never occur to me to do. I thought we were having a discussion about race, which everyone is having.’
Goldberg, who is well known for her provocative and controversial comments, admitted to Colbert she ‘did a lot of harm to myself’ with her Holocaust remarks.
‘People decided I was a certain way. And I’m not,’ she insisted.
‘And I’m torn up people see me that way.
‘I did it to myself.
‘This is my thought process and I will work hard not to think that way again.’
Goldberg sparked outrage by claiming on The View that the Holocaust was ‘not about race’ because it’s ‘two white groups of people’.
Goldberg’s remarks were condemned by Stop Antisemitism, a non-profit organization, which tweeted: ‘Newsflash @WhoopiGoldberg. 6 million of us were gassed, starved and massacred because we were deemed an inferior race by the Nazis. How dare you minimize our trauma and suffering!’
The Auschwitz Memorial in Poland tweeted a link to a history of the Holocaust.
‘@WhoopiGoldberg, Holocaust – the destruction of European Jews.
‘A seven-chapter online course about the history of the Holocaust. Links to all chapters below in the tweet.’
Her co-host, Navarro, pointed out to her how the Nazis persecuted Jews and ‘Gypsies’, targeting them as white supremacists.
Haines tried to point out that Nazis didn’t consider Jews ‘white’ but it did not resonate with Goldberg.
There was immediate backlash on Twitter.
‘WTF? This is insane. The extermination of 6 million Jews wasn’t about race??? Will any rock stars or renegade royals now boycott Whoopi Goldberg and/or ABC for this dangerous misinformation?’ tweeted Piers Morgan.
Meghan McCain, a former View co-host who left the show last year after feeling marginalized for her Conservative views, tweeted: ‘Antisemitism is a cancer and a poison that is increasingly excused in our culture and television – and permeates spaces that should shock us all.’
Michael Rappaport filmed a video of himself railing against Goldberg.
‘Whoopi Goldberg, love you big fan – you went on your show and said the Holocaust wasn’t about race.
‘Yes it f*****g was! It was all and only about race! It was about ‘kill the Jews. They’re not white, they’re Jewish.
‘That’s like saying slavery wasn’t about race. You need to apologize. You need to explain yourself. Not good, not cool.’
Survivor children in the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau after the liberation, 1945. Godlberg said it wasn’t an act of racism because it involved two white groups
Goldberg’s co-host Ana Navarro tried to argue with her that the Holocaust was about race, but Whoopi spoke over her
Sarah Haines tried to point out that the Nazis considered themselves the superior race over Jews, but Goldberg did not take her point on-board