Whoopi Goldberg opened “The View” Tuesday with a groveling apology for saying the Holocaust was “not about race” and invited the head of the Anti-Defamation League on to help set her straight.
“So yesterday on our show I misspoke,” a contrite-sounding Goldberg, 66, said, adding that she wanted viewers to “hear it from me directly.”
“I said that the Holocaust wasn’t about race, and it was instead about man’s inhumanity to man — but it is indeed about race, because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be an inferior race,” she finally acknowledged.
“Words matter, and mine are no exception,” said Goldberg, who had confusingly repeated many of her initial claims during a late-night TV chat hours after first apologizing Monday.
“I regret my comments, and I stand corrected. I also stand with the Jewish people,” she told her viewers Tuesday.
Goldberg accepted that her outburst on Monday’s show “upset so many people, which was never my intention.”
“And I understand why now, and for that I am deeply, deeply grateful,” she said, crediting her critics “helped me understand” her painful error.
The on-air apology comes as Goldberg is said to be feeling heat from inside ABC, with some insiders telling Page Six there are calls for her to be fired from the show.
She then invited one of them, Anti-Defamation League CEO Greenblatt Jonathan Greenblatt, onto the show to highlight just how wrong she had been.
“Whoopi, there’s no question that the Holocaust was about race,” Greenblatt told her.
“Literally, the first page of ‘Maus,’ the book you were talking about yesterday, Whoopi, opens with a quote from Hitler, and literally it says, ‘The Jews undoubtedly are a race, but they are not human,’” he told her.
“Hitler’s ideology was predicated on the idea that … the Jews were a subhuman race. It was a racialized anti-Semitism,” he told her.
“Throughout the Jewish people’s history, they have been marginalized, they have been persecuted, they have been slaughtered, in large part because many people felt they were not just a different religion, but indeed a different race.”
“And your platform, Whoopi, is so important to educate people to realize that anti-Semitism remains a clear and present danger,” he said.
He noted a surge in anti-Semitic attacks, including the recent 10-hour siege at a Texas synagogue, as for why Jewish people “are feeling besieged again.”
“Extremism from the right and liberalism from the left — both these things threaten the Jewish people,” he said. “Jews are indeed worried.”
He also told Goldberg and her fellow co-hosts that it was time for them to hire a Jewish host “who can bring these issues of ant-Semitism” every day.
To that, Joy Behar quipped, “I guess I don’t count — everybody thinks I’m Jewish, but I’m not.”
Goldberg first argued that the Holocaust went beyond race during a discussion on “The View” about a Tennessee school district’s decision to ban “Maus,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about a Holocaust survivor.
“The Holocaust isn’t about race. No, it’s not about race,” Goldberg said repeatedly. “It’s about man’s inhumanity to man.”
She repeated some of the same claims after her tweeted apology when she tried to justify her outburst during an interview on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
“Most of the Nazis were white people and most of the people they were attacking were white people. So to me, I’m thinking, ‘How can you say it’s about race if you are fighting each other?’” she told Colbert, saying it was “about white on white” rather than “racial.”
“As a black person, I think of race as being something that I can see,” she had told Colbert.