Whoopi Goldberg was placed on a two-week, unpaid suspension yesterday by ABC boss Kim Godwin to put an end to a ‘culture’ at the network where The View host and her colleague Joy Behar could ‘say and do whatever they wanted’, insiders tell DailyMail.com.
The controversy began on Monday when Whoopi claimed on-air that the Holocaust was ‘not about race’. She posted a Twitter apology, then apologized on-air on Tuesday but after the show, was suspended.
DailyMail.com can reveal that she will lose out on her $192,000 pay check for those two weeks.
Staffers welcomed the suspension and said it finally brings an end to Whoopi and her co-host Joy Behar doing ‘whatever they wanted’, a problem they said started when Barbara Walters left the show.
‘ABC understands that this is an opinion based show, the facts will always be paramount. We want robust discussion but can’t have the hosts saying things that are false and not based in fact.
‘What Whoopi said was not based in fact and was highly inflammatory and offensive.
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Whoopi Goldberg leaves ABC News on Tuesday after being placed on a two-week suspension for claiming that the Holocaust was not about race
The View panel on Wednesday. Joy Behar was the only one who acknowledged Whoopi’s absence. She said: ‘You all saw the news. Whoopi will be back in two weeks. OK’. Tara Setmeyer returned as a co-host
‘It’s a new day at ABC News. Kim [Godwin] wants her entire team to be held accountable for their words and actions.
‘There has been a real power vacuum on The View since Barbara Walters retired, because she ran the show with an iron first.
‘After Barbara it became a free for all and Whoopi and Joy could do and say whatever they wanted. This is now coming to an end.
‘Kim is drawing a line in the sand for all staff across ABC News and is attempting to build a corporate culture based on truth, facts, accountability and kindness.
‘If you do not operate within this prism, Kim will take action. Whoopi’s suspension highlights this.
‘Disney is aware that there are huge cultural issues within ABC News and Kim has the backing of Mickey Mouse to fix up the news division and set it on a different course.
‘Whoopi is welcome to return after her unpaid two week suspension. She took the news well and understood where the network was coming from.’
On the show on Tuesday, Joy kicked off where Whoopi normally would.
A senior ABC News source told DailyMail.com there has been a ‘free for all’ of a power grab on the panel since Barbara Walters left in 2014, and that Joy Behar and Whoopi in particular have been getting away with ‘doing and saying whatever they want’
‘You all saw the news Whoopi will be back here in two weeks. Ok. Tara Setmeyer has returned to guest co-host,’ Behar said before launching into the show’s first segment – hot topics.
ABC News President Kim Godwin was brought in in April
In an email sent to staff that was obtained by DailyMail.com, Godwin – who was named President at ABC News, said yesterday: ‘I want to follow up with you all regarding Whoopi Goldberg’s comments on “The View” yesterday that were misinformed, upsetting and hurtful.
‘I have made the decision to suspend Whoopi from “The View” for two weeks effective immediately.
‘These decisions are never easy, but necessary.
‘Just last week I noted that the culture at ABC News is one that is driven, kind, inclusive, respectful, and transparent.
‘Whoopi’s comments do not align with those values.
‘It was important that Whoopi had a chance to address her comments on the show today where she made them and have an educational conversation with Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
‘I appreciate their conversation and his acknowledgement of Whoopi’s efforts. As he tweeted, “Deeply appreciate @WhoopiGoldberg inviting me on to @TheView today to have an important discussion on the importance of educating about the Holocaust. Whoopi has been a long-time ally of the Jewish community and @ADL and her apology is very much welcome.”
‘Whoopi has shown through her actions over many years that she understands the horrors of the Holocaust and she started today’s show with that recognition.
‘But words matter and we must be cognizant of the impact our words have.
‘I’ll be issuing the below statement shortly.
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments.
‘While Whoopi has apologized, I’ve asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments. The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, family and communities.”
ABC News President Kim Godwin announced her suspension Tuesday night, saying it was ‘effective immediately’
Mixed reviews: Some called for Whoopi to be fired while her fans vowed to boycott the show
While staffers are happy that Whoopi was suspended, her co-hosts were said to be ‘furious’ about the decision, according to sources cited by The Daily Beast.
The stars have not publicly commented on the matter, however Hostin retweeted a Twitter post that reads: ‘ADL making it clear here that the org is accepting Whoopi Goldeberg’s apology.’
Meantime, an ABC executive told the news outlet some network employees were ‘really upset and don’t understand why it took two days’ for Whoopi to be met with consequences.
WHOOPI’S HOLOCAUST COMMENTS
The saga began when the panel discussed a Tennessee school removing the comic Maus from its curriculum because it contained nudity.
Critics are now demanding that Goldberg be fired from the show.
They pointed to other talk show hosts and TV personalities like Sharon Osborne and Roseanne Barr who were fired over making controversial remarks.
Goldberg started off by saying: ‘Personally I am shocked because given the story of Maus I am surprised that that’s what made you uncomfortable.
‘It’s about the Holocaust, the killing of 6million people, but that didn’t bother you. This is white people doing it to white people so y’all go fight amongst yourselves but…’
Later, she carried on: ‘Let’s be truthful about it. 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 back but she continued: ‘But 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.’
Before the suspension was announced, DailyMail.com had learned that several ABC staffers had called for her firing.
After apologizing on Tuesday’s show, Whoopi interviewed ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt to discuss why what she’d said was so offensive.
He went on CNN last night to tell Don Lemon that while her comments were wrong, he accepted her apology.
In a Tuesday night interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director, said that although Whoopi’s comments caused ‘tremendous confusion and hurt,’ he accepted her apology and hopes she can use her suspension as a time for ‘introspection and learning’.
‘She apologized last night online and then she did so again this morning. You know, and I accept her apology,’ Greenblatt said.
‘I know she’s been a friend of the jewish community all throughout her career. And I respect that and appreciate it. I can’t comment on ABC News’ internal process, but what I will say is that I hope Whoopi can use the next two weeks for a process of introspection and learning.’
Greenblatt added: ‘Let’s hope that she can use this time, use this opportunity, and use her amazing platform to educate herself and to share what she learns with her audience and with the country at large.’
He encouraged the television host to find ways to help further Holocaust education by visiting the Holocaust museum, meeting with survivors and working with the ADL.
‘There are lots of ways Whoopi can make I huge difference, and I hope she’ll do that.’
Greenblatt also reiterated the Holocaust was ‘absolutely about race’.
‘I think [Whoopi] really, again, created a kind of confusion and hurt because the Holocaust was absolutely about race,’ he told Lemon. ‘It was a racialized anti-semitism.’
‘And again, that might not fit with the way that some people think about race, the way all of us as Americans have to confront it in this country – in this time when black Americans are still dealing with the legacy of Jim Crow and enslavement and systemic oppression.’
Some fans welcomed the decision, but others were furious by ABC’s decision.
They tweeted vowing to boycott The View for the two weeks that Whoopi was off-air.
Before the show, a senior ABC News source told DailyMail.com that staff are stunned by the network’s soft touch on her remarks, especially when it was so quick to fire Roseanne Barr over racist comments towards Valerie Jarrett.
‘These comments are absolutely abhorrent and outrageous and it’s time Disney and ABC grew a pair and fired her,’ the source said.