“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg dissed cancel culture this week at the Edinburgh TV Festival, “the truth doesn’t seem to matter as much these days.”
The talk show host revealed that she could not get work for five years because of a joke she made about former President George Bush at a 2004 fundraising event.
“I would describe that situation as a lot of people covering their backsides, because the joke was never about him,” Goldberg recalled.
“But no one ever stood up and said, ‘Hey, here’s what actually happened.’ And they put it in the newspaper. And you notice, they’d never seen what I exactly said, or what I said at all. But all somebody has to do is say you said it.”
She explained that the social phenomenon is driven by commercialism. “Because there is cancel culture, people will call or text and say, ‘I’m not buying your product.”
“This is who you have talking about your product, me and my 5 million followers, if you keep her, we’re not going to buy your car, or we’re not going to buy your shampoo or we’re not going to buy your toothbrush or we’re not going to buy your Pampers,” Goldberg detailed.
As a result she spent half a decade without work, until she was hired on “The View” as a cohost. “Lucky for me, Barbara Walters offered me a job and said, ‘Hey, would you like to do this?’” the “Ghost” star reminisced. “And I was like, ‘You know, I’m not in favor in the general public.’ [Barbara] said, ‘You’ll be perfect.’”
Maybe Goldberg would have been able to get a job sooner if she had apologized for the joke. Cohost Joy Behar noted that saying sorry has been the key to retaining her position on “The View” since 1997.
“Well, I’ve gotten in trouble a few times on the show,” she remarked. “I’ve had to apologize, which I’m happy to do in order to save mine and everybody else’s job. I don’t care. Even if I don’t mean it, I’ll do it.”
“Even if I look like I’m in a hostage takeover, I’ll still do it, because if you don’t do it, you lose your job and everybody else’s,” Behar explained. “You have a bunch of women who speak their minds and enjoy the blowback. That’s our stock-in-trade.”
Behar detailed that her own comedy occasionally prompts the need to apologize, but says the jokes themselves are without ulterior motives.
“My comedy has never been vicious or mean because my intent is just to make you laugh. That’s all. I don’t have any other motive,” she said. “And so if the intention is in the right, and your heart is in the right place, I think that you can never really go wrong. I’ve offended people for sure, but whatever.”