The news that Whoopi Goldberg was suspended for two weeks from The View for her misinformed views about Jewish people and the Holocaust has sparked a debate on social media. The talk show host isn’t the first, and won’t be the last person, to spout off views that aren’t necessarily accurate on TV or radio, but it’s the selective punishment that has many people in an uproar.
Twitter has been debating whether Goldberg should have been suspended at all given the fact that she swiftly course-corrected the situation by apologizing on-air during Tuesday’s show. “I said that the Holocaust wasn’t about race and it was instead about man’s inhumanity to man,” Goldberg said. “But it was indeed about race because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be an inferior race. Now, words matter, and mine are no exception. I regret my comments, as I said, and I stand corrected. I also stand with the Jewish people as they know and y’all know because I’ve always done that.”
The show also had the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, on to educate the hosts about “the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people” and the rise of antisemitism.
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) February 1, 2022
While many viewers thought this quick turnaround in terms of education and apologies took care of Goldberg’s situation, ABC News felt otherwise, opting to give her a two-week suspension from The View in wake of her comments. But it shines a light on what some deem to be a harsh punishment for the daytime star when her former co-host Meghan McCain’s inflammatory comments often went unchecked when she was on the show. Journalist Ernest Owens noted on Twitter, “Meghan McCain got dozens of ‘teachable moments’ on The View for her racism without penalty. Whoopi Goldberg got punished the same day she apologized and educated herself on national TV. Don’t tell me anything about affirmative action and ‘reverse’ racism this #BlackHistoryMonth.”
And while we’re talking about misinformation — when it comes to COVID-19, Joe Rogan is always at the top of the list. Rogan has apologized for getting things wrong at times in his coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has committed to “telling the truth” as he moves forward with his podcast — and Spotify stood by him. His only “punishment” is a content advisory label and links to a global COVID-19 Information Hub, which is a much lighter sentence than Goldberg’s two-week suspension.
As networks try to wade away from cancel culture and move into accountability culture, it seems like ABC News is still figuring out exactly which tone they’d like to strike when looking at their disparate treatment of Goldberg and McCain. And in case they hadn’t noticed that disparity themselves, social media is here to point it out to them — and ask that “accountability” be applied to all perpetrators of misinformation equally.
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