Whoopi Goldberg spoke out recently on cancel culture, saying that it’s out of hand. The Academy Award-winning actor questions whether or not the growing cultural practice is based on any sort of truth.
She delivered her remarks at the Edinburgh TV Festival
At the Edinburgh TV Festival on August 24th, Goldberg spoke out during the international Icon Interview.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Ghost actor said her career suffered a “gigantic halt” after a suggestive joke about then-President George W. Bush in 2004. She says she didn’t work for over five years; she also famously lost her lucrative endorsement with Slim-Fast.
Finally, Barbara Walters revived her career with an offer to join The View.
While she said she wasn’t actually ‘canceled’ — a term that wasn’t even in use at the time — she admitted it was still devastating.
“I would describe that situation as a lot of people covering their backsides, because the joke was never about him,” she said. “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 and that’s what happened.”
Whoopi Goldberg said the truth ‘doesn’t seem to matter’ anymore
The outspoken actor reflected on how her own experience in 2004, and the fallout, mirrors what’s currently happening in the industry with the aptly named ‘cancel culture.’ She said it doesn’t seem that the truth matters.
“And we’re seeing the same thing in many more ways, but I feel like the truth doesn’t seem to matter as much these days,” she said.
She said in the age of social media, the practice of ‘canceling’ is particularly devastating.
“Because there is cancel culture, people will call or text and say ‘I’m not buying your product,’” Goldberg explained. “‘This is who you have talking about your product, me and my five 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.’”
Asked if she thought it would have been different for her elsewhere, Goldberg quipped that there are “boneheads” all over the world.
“There are boneheads everywhere!” she said. “So I imagine we’re all having the same issues around the world.”
Her impressive run at The View has undoubtedly softened the impact of the 2004 incident. Parade Magazine reported in July 2021 that her annual salary runs between $5 and $6 million. She has continually co-hosted the show since 2007.
Whoopi Goldberg said she would like to play Dr. Who
In a not-so-surprising admission, Goldberg also said that she’d like to play Dr. Who.
“I’m not going to lie,” she told the audience. “I would like to play Doctor Who, but I think it would mean an evolution of (Doctor Who) being American,” she said. “And I don’t know if that’s correct for Doctor Who. I don’t know if I can usurp that.”
She usurped her own dying career after the 2004 incident left it badly damaged. If anyone can usurp expectations for who should play Dr. Who, it would indeed be Whoopi Goldberg.