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The View is no stranger to on-air gaffes. As one of the most popular live shows on TV, the long-running daytime institution has had plenty of moments throughout the years that have caused conversation, for better or for worse. In March 2023, moderator and longtime co-host Whoopi Goldberg used a word on the live broadcast that has historically been used as a slur.

Whoop Goldberg on The View
Whoopi Goldberg on The View | Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images

Whoopi Goldberg said an offensive slur on ‘The View’

As the Manhattan District Attorney seemingly prepares to indict former President Donald Trump for an alleged hush payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels in 2016, The View co-hosts weighed in on the seemingly impending indictment. Conservative co-host and former assistant to Trump, Alyssa Farah Griffin, mentioned outrage from “white MAGA bros on Twitter.”

Goldberg went on to explain what she believed many of Trump’s supporters’ thought process might be. In the process, she used a term that has its roots in stereotypes and discrimination of Romani people. “The people who still believe that he got, you know, [cheated] somehow in the [2020] election, will still believe that he cared enough about his wife to pay the…” the Soapdish star said, pausing to burp in the middle of her thought. “That was gas,” she said, continuing, “Money from his personal thing.”

Whoopi Goldberg apologized for using an anti-Romani slur on ‘The View’

After the show, The View‘s official Twitter account posted a video of Goldberg addressing the segment and the words she used.

“You know, when you’re a certain age, you use words that you know from when you’re a kid or you remember saying, and that’s what I did today, and I shouldn’t have,” Goldberg admitted. “I should have thought about it a little longer before I said it, but I didn’t.”

“I should have said ‘cheated,’ and I used another word,” she continued, “and I’m really, really sorry.”

It’s not the first time Goldberg has sparked controversy with her words. In January 2022, she caused backlash after stating that the Holocaust was not about race, but about “man’s inhumanity to man.” Her misunderstanding of Hitler’s racialization of Jewish people, along with Romani people and others who didn’t fit the Aryan mold, led to a two-week suspension from the show.


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Romani history behind the term

The Romani people have historically faced persecution for centuries across Europe and Asia. During the Holocaust, between 130,000 and 500,000 Romani people across Europe were exterminated in concentration camps alongside Jewish people, disabled people, LGBTQ people, and other groups deemed “undesirable” by Nazi Germany.

In Europe specifically, the Romani’s reputation has become synonymous with pickpocketing and swindling. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known recorded definition of the term Goldberg used dates back to the 1899 Century Dictionary, which says that it is “probably an abbreviation of ‘gypsy,’ as applied to a sly unscrupulous fellow.” Similarly, the term “gypsy,” which has been defined as a nomadic person, has been used offensively to describe Romani people and their plight for many years. The word Goldberg used on air stems from the term and its attached sentiment.