The actress Whoopi Goldberg has apologized for saying the Holocaust was not about race, comments that caused a backlash.
She made the initial comments on ABC’s The View program on Monday morning. Her apology came in a tweet hours later.
“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 Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people — who they deemed to be an inferior race.’ I stand corrected,” Goldberg said.
‘I don’t want to fake apologize’
“The Jewish people around the world have always had my support,” she wrote, adding that would never waver. “I’m sorry for the hurt I have caused. Written with my sincerest apologies, Whoopi Goldberg.”
Goldberg also appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday to clarify her remarks.
“As a Black person, I think of race as being something that I can see,” she told Colbert.
“I felt that it was really more about man’s inhumanity to man and how horrible people can be to people, and we’re seeing it manifest itself these days.
“But 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.”
WATCH | Whoopi Goldberg on Stephen Colbert:
Comments made during Maus discussion
The hosts on The View were discussing a Tennessee school board’s banning of Maus, a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman about the Holocaust and Nazi death camps during the Second World War.
The board cited nudity and profanity as its reasons for banning the book, which has won several literary awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.
Goldberg said: “I’m surprised that’s what made you uncomfortable, the fact that there was some nudity. I mean, it’s about the Holocaust, the killing of six million people, but that didn’t bother you?”
Later in the conversation, she said, “If you’re going to do this, then let’s be truthful about it. Because the Holocaust isn’t about race. No, it’s not about race.”
Joy Behar pointed out that the Nazis said Jews were a different race.
“But it’s not about race. It’s not. It’s about man’s inhumanity to other man,” Goldberg replied.
Ana Navarro responded: “But it’s about white supremacy. It’s about going after Jews and Gypsies and Roma.”
Goldberg said: “But these are two white groups of people.”
WATCH | The conversation on The View:
Sara Haines pointed out that the Nazis didn’t see Jewish people as white.
“But you’re missing the point!” Goldberg said. “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.”
Greenblat thanked Goldberg late Monday night.
“Thanks @WhoopiGoldberg for correcting your prior statement and acknowledging the #Holocaust for what it was. 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,” he tweeted.