Whoopi Goldberg is often the sanest voice on “The View.”
Audiences may not agree with her political positions, but she occasionally brings the verbal heat down or shows some of the wisdom gleaned from her 66 years.
Remember how she quickly stood up for free speech when Debra Messing threatened to punish actors for supporting President Donald Trump?
Then there’s the other side of Goldberg’s rhetoric.
She once defended director Roman Polanski’s grotesque 1977 assault on a 13-year-old girl as not being “rape-rape.” More recently, her ill-informed comments on the Holocaust drew a rare rebuke for a progressive star.
We’ve seen the latter side of the “Sister Act” star in recent days. And, by doubling down on the toxic race card, she did her brand, and audience, few favors.
First, Goldberg weighed in on SlapGate, the Oscar moment when Will Smith attacked presenter Chris Rock for telling a joke that made him uncomfortable.
At least after Smith snickered at the crack about his wife’s bald pate.
Goldberg, who sits on the Academy’s Board of Governors, initially said Smith wasn’t asked to leave by the Academy due to his skin color. Smith, like Goldberg, is black, and the optics of removing a celebrated black actor from the ceremony overweighed his atrocious behavior.
At least that’s how Goldberg framed it.
Two days later, as John Nolte pointed out at Breitbart News, Goldberg changed her story. She said the Academy producers were worried about Smith’s mental state, and that’s why they didn’t insist he leave mid-show.
Was it about race … or the Academy’s concern over a star’s emotional mindset?
Goldberg brought up race again this week, but this time in a way that was cruel, unnecessary and wildly inaccurate.
She said Senate Republicans oppose the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson due to her skin color.
“Just say, ‘I don’t trust a Black woman to do the job…’ You know what? I know what this is. We all know what it is. We know what it is. We recognize it. We’re used to this.”
Her proof? She had none.
Partisan politics plays an increasingly large role in Supreme Court battles. All 47 Democrats voted against Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court two years ago. Goldberg didn’t say the Democrats were sexist as a result.
Few, if any, sober pundits did. It wasn’t about gender. It’s politics.
Senate Republicans have issues with Jackson on several fronts, and they have every right to hold those views. Had President Donald Trump nominated a black judge for the highest court in the land chances are he or she would get universal support from his own party.
And, chances are, the vast majority of Democrats would vote the other way.
So it’s not about race. Injecting bigotry into the discussion is wildly irresponsible and plays into the very worst of our tribal times.
Goldberg holds considerable cache in our culture, for better or worse. She’s a veteran actress, an Oscar winner and a broadcast personality on a show that reaches millions of viewers.
Playing the race card not once but twice in the span of a few days shows the very worst side of her public persona.